Hello! I'm Norman. I'm a designer.

Here are some of the things I've been doing.

I've been working at Second Story as a lead experience designer. We design and make interactive installations and other digital things. In my time there I've worked on projects for SFMOMA, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Gonzaga University, the National Archives, Nike, and others.

I've been collecting my thoughts on design, in short. Studying design is a passion of mine and I've been taking notes on my wide-ranging reading list. Go ahead and copy off my homework at designinshort.com.

I've been trying to just shut up and make things. I like to undertake projects to make things both big and small because I think it's a fundamental part of being human. You can see what I've made on shutupandmakeit.com

I've been drawing comics. While I've always doodled, I'm a complete amateur when it comes to making comics. But I love the medium and wanted to try it out for myself. My latest attempt is a short two pager which is part of a series I want to make based on D&D characters (for double the geekiness). More to come on this.

I've been studying interaction design at CMU's School of Design. I graduated back in 2011, but it's worth mentioning because my time there set many of the foundations for my thinking on design. If you're interested, take a look at my thesis paper about service design, tangibility, and co-creation (or if you're short on time, the accompanying video).

And I've done some other things too. For example, I studied computer engineering before design. Read about it on my resume.

Wow! I'm surprised you've read this far! In that case, let me chat you up a little bit more.

I'm a fan of design because I see it as a tool for exploring and highlighting context. Social context, cultural context, spatial context, emotional context. I feel like so many issues, big and small, spring from a lack of consideration for context. To me, designers are people who want to change that by making things in the world.

It's why designers are so quick to study all the tiny, mundane details. We want to know where it happens, how it happens, why it happens, who it happens to, and what it means to them. We know that it's in the everyday moments that magical things happen, but only if the designed objects, environments, and interactions around us leave space for it.

It's why designers love models. A sketch, a diagram, a prototype. These are a ways of seeing beyond a single object to focus on the web of people, places, interactions, and systems it's tangled up in. Models let us make context the object of design.

It's why designers always want to make things before we even really know what it is. Making things puts us in direct connection with our shared reality, an experience that is both empowering and humbling. The more people making things, the better, because it's how we come to understand and respect our world (and, just maybe, the people living in it).

I strive to use design to empower people to see, appreciate, and shape the contexts around them because I think it will make a better world.

Reach out if you'd like to talk.