Discover Talent | Connect Opportunities | Be Inspired

Be part of this Opportunity Match event!

The SPARK DESIGN summit is an engagement platform connecting the design ecosystem. In this half-day experience, we’ll explore and activate the design and innovation workforce in RI.

May 22, 2019 | 2:00 - 6:00 PM
South Street Landing, 350 Eddy Street, Providence

  • Get to know the existing and future design talent in RI
  • Gain insight into employer and employee needs, challenges and opportunities
  • Collaborate with participants from across the design ecosystem
  • Experience new ways of thinking and define new frontiers for design in RI

SPARK DESIGN was born out of a mission to bridge the gaps between design leaders and next generation designers, design teachers and design innovators, design students and real world inspiration, and today’s design with the future of design. Globally, design is a force driving the future in technology, experience and commerce. Locally, the design sector is a powerful and dynamic field - leading in innovation, solutions and global connection.

Rhode Island’s design ecosystem:

  • 11 Colleges and Universities
  • 1100+ graduates of design each year
  • 2,000+ design employers
  • 3rd most creative sector jobs in the U.S.
  • 1 state founded on innovation and maverick leadership

Who should attend:

  • Design leaders, employers and community members
  • Job seekers, entrepreneurs and collaboration partners
  • Higher education design professors and department heads
  • Emerging designers, students and future design professionals
  • State leaders and partners looking to learn and connect with the design talent in RI

What to expect:

SPARK DESIGN will offer a mix of interactive, educational and social experiences, all designed to maximize engagement potential between participants. You can expect lively panel discussions, participatory inquiry, intentional meetups, and a whole host of awesome.



Hannah ChungHannah is the Co-founder and Head of Design of Sproutel, an award-winning patient-centered research and development workshop that creates products that make a meaningful health impact in the lives of patients. Her company was recognized as one of 32 companies that pushes diversity in tech by the White House and the then president President Obama in 2015. In 2012, Hannah was named one of the "Top 15 Women to Watch in Tech” by Inc Magazine. She won the Perfect Pitch competition at the Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in 2013, where Warren Buffett was one of the judges. She has also been recognized as one of 50 honored makers by the White House in 2014. Before co-founding Sproutel, Hannah co-founded Design for America, a national student organization that helps students solve local social problems through design. Hannah graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Bethany CostelloAs the Associate Director of Community Relations at RISD, Bethany works closely with community and campus leaders to develop partnerships that address key economic challenges in the local marketplace, align with RISD’s priorities as a leader in art and design education, and serve to enhance positive interaction among members of the RISD and regional communities. Prior to coming to RISD, Bethany spent 10 years working at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, where she directed the development and implementation of organization's communications and public policy strategies.


George CucitroneIn an age where technology and media can deliver anyone’s wants and desires to them at any time, George strives to deliver design which gives people what they need - value and enrichment to their existence. After 10 years with DiLeonardo, George wears many hats, though primarily, as Project Director, George is responsible for guiding projects to successful completion through all design phases. He travels frequently to coordinate with clients and consultants and is involved with project design. George holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Roger Williams University and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He is a Registered Architect in the States of Rhode Island and Nevada.


Andy DaviesAndy Davies is a designer from Providence. Andy got his start in San Francisco, where he built websites for startups before moving into building systems and identities for foundations and open-source movements. Before joining Mojo Tech, he worked at interactive agency Mule and the Washington Post. Andy originally studied biology, and then print design. He ended up with a knack for turning every project into an app or website. Andy has a degree from the University of San Francisco.


Peter HaasPeter is the Associate Director of the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative. He was the Co-Founder and COO of XactSense, a UAV manufacturer working on LIDAR mapping and autonomous navigation. Prior to XactSense, Peter founded AIDG – a small hardware enterprise accelerator in emerging markets. Peter received both TED and Echoing Green fellowships. He has been a speaker at TED Global, The World Bank, Harvard University and other venues. He holds a Philosophy B.A. from Yale.


J. HogueJ. Hogue has over 20+ years of visual design experience and 15+ years of experience designing and developing for the web. J. is the Director of Design and User Experience at Oomph, Inc, a digital agency focusing on custom-built open source projects. He leads the UX team in information architecture, responsive wireframing, HTML prototyping, testing, and final design mockups. He loves design systems with an emphasis on typography, SASS programming to CSS, and the inherent accessibility of HTML.


Kevin JankowskiKevin is the Director of the Career Center at RI School of Design. Here he leads RISD’s institutional efforts to connect education with fulfilling careers and work lives after graduation. He has a significant focus on the application of creative thinking and making across a broad range of job markets, industries and ventures. Kevin has also ran his own freelance business as an Illustrator for a broad range of publishing, magazine and book clients including Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, SPIN Magazine, and the Minnesota Zoo. He has a BFA from RI School of Design.


Michaela KelloggAs a Creative Strategist at (add)ventures, Michaela is responsible for guiding, documenting and communicating the overall creative approach for projects. She creates and delivers client presentations that clearly articulate the strategic direction and how solutions will achieve brand and business objectives. She’s a problem solver, facilitator and storyteller that integrates inputs from clients and internal (add)ventures’ teams, including insights, marketing, strategy, experience design, digital, copy and video. She loves both words and images, is comfortable making sense of many inputs and is able to define innovative yet viable solutions. Previously, Michaela worked as the Marketing Manager for RISD’s Continuing Education department and Christie’s Auction House in New York City. She has an arts history and visual arts/photography degree from Fordham University.

ELIZABETH (ELI) MacLaren ~ KoAN Design

Eli MacLarenElizabeth (Eli) MacLaren is interested in human systems - tribes, institutions, networks, and markets; exploring and designing how they evolve and innovate in service of a better future for all. Eli has committed herself to exploring where innovation comes from, how it takes root, and how it scales. She has collaborated and led movements in social entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, diversity and inclusion, and social system transformation. She came to Rhode Island to lead Business Innovation Factory's real world experience labs, and most recently founded her own collaborative: KoAN Design where the only dominant design is collaborative design. Eli is a 'mover and shaker, creator and change maker, cook and a baker,' and she is regularly capturing the beauty in the world one haiku at a time.


Kristine MerzAs an entrepreneur and founder of Orange Square, Kristine believes in finding value from a customer point of view and the power of design and visualization to create shared meaning. She founded Orange Square to fill a void in effective business-to-business and human-centered marketing communication solutions. As a classically trained designer and battle-tested entrepreneur, Kristine uses design thinking frameworks to ensure success by identifying and solving the right problems. She’s been working with clients focused in healthcare and education for over 17 years. Prior to this, she was the Art Director at Benes Brand Imaging and Sullivan and Company. Kristine is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.

RICK MITCHELL ~ New England Institute of Technology

rick MitchellRick Mitchell is the Chair of the Graphics, Multimedia, and Web Design degree program at New England Tech. He holds BS and MS degrees in Communications, and his professional background includes Advertising, and commercial Film and Video Production. Rick presently teaches UX marketing, branding, and digital content creation for social, and web optimization. “Content is King” is his mantra as ubiquitous technology remains dependent upon critical thinking and creative engagement.


Nick ScappaticciAs Chief Executive Officer, Nick leads Tellart in high-level operational and strategic decisions, while still being involved in details of project development, execution, and troubleshooting. He is responsible for leading a staff of strategists, designers and technologists, and for creating a cohesive cultural environment for Tellart that enables project and career success. Tellart’s work has won many top awards including Cannes Lions, SXSW Experimental, IxDA, Webby, D&AD Yellow Pencil, AIGA Case, Core77 and recently the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Nick studied Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty at RISD where he teaches interface design and senior studio.


Justin SirotinJustin has spent his 20 year design career developing successful products and businesses for multinational brands and start-ups alike. He founded OCTO Product Development, a firm delivering highly individualized software and product design services, and works with clients such as Dorel Juvenile Group, Focus Upright, Johnson and Johnson, Titleist and Hexagon. Prior to this, he founded and ran a modern game table furniture company called MARS MADE, and was general manager of Item (now Ximedica). Justin is an adjunct professor in Industrial Design at RISD. He has a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.


Wayne VieiraWayne Viera has a talent for aligning the creative direction of a project with the strategic goals of a client partner, while building collaborative relationships to effectively lead the creative process at (add)ventures. His design expertise - combined with an innate ability to simplify complex communication challenges - helps client partners achieve their marketing and branding goals. Wayne has served as an adjunct professor for continuing education at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) since 1997 – teaching a range of classes within RISD’s Graphic Design Certificate program. He is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island and earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.


Christine WestChristine West is Principal of KITE Architects. KITE works with forward-thinking organizations and innovative developers to explore the possibilities of each project with an honest and creative lens. Christine is a firm believer in environmentally and economically sustainable urban neighborhoods, and with this, an active community member. She is the currently chair of the Providence City Plan Commission, a member of the Providence Building Board of Review, and serves on the board of the Providence Revolving Fund. She was past president of the RI Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and architect member of the Providence Downcity Design Review Committee. Christine has a Masters in Design Studies from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.


Isabelle Yisak“Why?” and “What if?” are the top questions that drive Isabelle’s work in the social sector. As a design researcher, she brings her experience in participatory design, facilitation, and social research methods to translate data into meaningful insights that can spur more inclusive and equitable outcomes. She has led initiatives around youth development and leadership within the Philippine diaspora, climate change resilience, and exploration of racial equity issues in K-12 education. Isabelle earned her B.A in Architectural Studies from Brown University and currently works as an Experience Designer at the Business Innovation Factory and an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Continuing Education.