I am writing this as an introduction to me and what you might expect from this site. I’m probably going to say mostly nice things about myself, so you might want to ask around for a second opinion.
I’m a husband and dad. My wife and I have two amazing daughters. We spend a lot of time hanging out with our kids. When it is nice outside we enjoy bike rides, long walks with our dog, hiking, and I’ve been trying to convince the girls they should learn how to skateboard. When stuck indoors there is often a lot of drawing and and art making happening in our house. We also enjoy playing board games together as a family. Our favorite game is Pirateer! The game of outrageous fortune - it is a simple pirate themed, checkers-like game that we’ve added a handful of house rules involving shipwrecks, hurricanes, and ghost captains, to make sure it is always a dramatic experience.
When I get time to myself I like to run or ride my bike (a 1988 Raleigh Technium 450). When I can get out of the house I think a perfect way to waste an afternoon is farting around a record store, bookshop, or flea market.
I try to read as much as I can, recently that means mostly nonfiction, short stories, essays, and a never ending backlog of saved articles. I like to have creative outlets too. I’ve been attempting to write more and enjoy it, even if some of the output isn’t ready for primetime. I spent a lot of years making art and taking it somewhat seriously and have started drawing and making things again just for fun.
I also like music.
I work for the Federal government, “Turning good-for-government ideas into good-for-people solutions” as part of the team at 10x. Before joining 10x, I spent 3 years as an “Innovation Specialist” at 18F. Both teams are part of the Technology Transformation Service, and work to improve government technology.
I’ve had a really fun career and feel incredibly lucky to have enjoyed every job I’ve had and to have been able to continually learn along the way. I’ve always been some sort of ‘designer’ but what that has meant has changed a lot over time.
I spent some of my early formative years at Actors Theatre of Louisville, a Tony award-winning regional theater. I the only designer and designed all the things. The coolest things about working there was a group of us young professionals convinced the management to let us produce a late night variety show. We created The Late Seating, a series of events that would go on stage after the plays had ended, they were a mix of live music, short theatre pieces, literary readings, interviews, and whatever else seemed entertaining. Just imagine the Muppet Show with fewer muppets.
After leaving the theatre I started a monthly newsprint magazine called The Louisville Paper. I assembled a loosely organized group of writers, photographers, artists, and other creative types and each month for 2 years to put out a magazine dedicated to celebrating all the good things happening in Louisville, focusing on neighborhoods, arts, culture, and social activism.
My most recent job before the government was as part of a small team at Humana’s Digital Experience Center, leading the charge for digital transformation inside of a giant insurance company. It was an amazing team of people, with access to some of the biggest and most exciting technology projects happening in the company. This job was my crash course in user-centered design, research, and agile development.
In addition to my ‘day jobs’ I’ve been a long time organizer of local design groups. I was on the board of the Louisville Graphic Design Association (now a part of the AIGA) for years, currently I’m a local leader for Louisville’s IxDA chapter, and a leader of Speculative Futures Louisville.
If you are still reading and interested at this point I’d love to chat. Please feel free to send me an email: hello[at]mattdobson.com