Two Cheers for Dad: A Story on Challenging the Traditional

March 8, 2017

On International Women’s Day, I’m cheering for my dad. Here’s a story on how a lesson I learned as a young woman frames my design work today, and influences the relationships I build with my clients and colleagues.


Woodford Reserve: Building a Brand Family

February 23, 2017

Brown-Forman engaged Essential Design to build a more robust brand and product design strategy for their Woodford Reserve brand, and create a cohesive design language.


Designing for Chronic Disease Management

January 20, 2017

A staggeringly high number of Americans are living with an incurable chronic condition, and this number is only growing. Because of the grave implications this has on the well-being of our population and the affordability of healthcare, patients and providers alike are incentivized to more effectively manage these conditions. The design thinking approach provides particular advantages to developing solutions that improve patient outcomes.


Why Human-centered Design is the Key to Building Better Robots

October 31, 2016

In a post for Autodesk’s Design Academy, Scott Stropkay posits that “putting humans at the center of technology-driven robot design projects changes the way we define success—and what is expected from the designer.”


Design Thinking for Social Impact

October 11, 2016

Boston + Acumen hosted an evening on Design Thinking and Social Impact with Naz Mirzaie, Service Designer and Design Researcher of Essential. Naz shared techniques that can be used to define problems, identify key stakeholders, and storyboard possible solutions when tackling social innovation challenges.


Design Research with Service Design Mindset

August 30, 2016

At the 20th: DMI Academic Design Management Conference, Service Designer Naz Mirzai presented a compelling paper on changes in the practice of design research.


Essential Awarded for Urban Design Concept

August 4, 2016

Essential took home 2nd place in a 3-day design challenge to activate the underutilized space under the I-93 overpass in Boston.


Building Design in an Age of Disruption: 3 Key Trends to Keep Pace With

June 21, 2016

Richard Watson and Chris Parlato opened the 2016 Alliance Innovation Summit by outlining 3 key trends that the building industry will need to keep pace with in the Age of Disruption.


4 Key Design Thinking Skills You Can Practice with LEGOs

March 3, 2016

I recently found myself at The Berkley Center for Creative Entrepreneurship surrounded by piles of LEGO® bricks. And it was not just for play- it was for “SERIOUS” play.