kyle.beck@ac4d.com

Student

Kyle Beck

Originally from Rochester, New York, Kyle studied Industrial Design at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston where he lived post-grad for several years working in apparel design before taking a stint to live in Colorado to be a ski instructor. Since 2011 Kyle has resided in Austin and spent the last 5 years working at Ion Art where he helped to create beautiful custom art around the state of Texas, along with many of the neon signs you see around Austin. He will step down as the Design Director to begin the next chapter of his life through AC4D.

Kyle is eager to embark on this new adventure to find impactful ways to improve his community near and far. Motivated by sustainability and alternative energies, he believes education is the core stepping stone to facilitate change in the world. He is currently an ambassador for Building Minds in South Sudan, a non-profit working to build schools and bring internet access to rural communities in South Sudan through solar power.

Inspired by exploring new cultures, he can often be found traveling or cooking up a new dish in the kitchen. He also enjoys rock climbing, skiing, and spending time with his family and friends on a good patio.

Recent blog posts

Making progress on Foresight

This is part six in a series detailing updates to our research into makers working contract jobs. To learn more about our research, go here. To catch up on what we did last week, go here.  Design team: Sean Redmond, Lauren Sands, Kyle Beck Overview After narrowing down to focus on Foresight, we quickly ran into a…

Insights and Design Principles for AT&T Universal Search

Through Communications in Design so far this semester, we have been focusing on finding our voice and using it to be compelling storytellers. To exercise these skills we built a design brief around a problem with a conceptual client, and were then tasked with generating research insights and design principles. The task given was distilled…

Design Brief for AT&T Universal Search

The task presented for us in our new class “Communication in Design”, was to create a design brief based off of a fictional scenario randomly given to small groups in the class. The purpose was to make a compelling argument which would provide confidence to the client about our process and approach to tackling design…

Taking AT&T Over The Top

Over the past decade, the way in which we consume media has changed drastically – this is especially true in world of television. The concept of traditional television is becoming archaic due to the expansion of smartphones and the advancements in technology and data transfer. According to a survey by eMarketer – 75% of content…

Branded by an Ethical Framework

Throughout the quarter in Ethics, we have been building out an ethical framework as a means to test and check problem scenarios to, now and in the future. Getting to this point has been pretty challenging, it’s often felt like a dump of ideas, starred notes, and ethereal situations that are hard to ground in…

Building trust

We are closing out our class on Ethics in Design by talking about emergent technologies. We read and discussed topics like filter bubbles which insulate our perspectives, biases being built into algorithms and their consequences, the battle between encryption and public safety, and the scary reality of facial recognition technology. This thread of facial recognition is…

Insights about “makers”

Following up on our blog post from last week, Lauren, Sean, and I have continued our research around “makers” as we wrapped up our 15th interview and continue to immerse ourselves in the data. Through this immersive process, we have been generating themes and building artifacts to help synthesize the interviews into useful information. The…

Digital Identities: What Could Go Wrong?

A topic that is new to me that we have been discussing in ethics is called “digital identity”. This is the concept that we will each have our identity in one place in the digital realm which we can use to authenticate and standardize many common steps we take online everyday. Things such as unique…

Privacy is not the standard

Last week I took my turn to facilitate a workshop to begin our ethics class. As we split the class in half, I took my group of four, plus two guest alumni for a 30-minute adventure into a portion of the readings that I found personally interesting. This article by Josephine Wolff highlighted how location data…

Can we codify culture?

As we rolled over from Q1 into Q2 at AC4D, our class transitioned from theory, thinking about the foundations of design and our methodology, to ethics, where we are discussing how our designs may manifest in the real world and the repercussions they may have. Throughout the quarter, we are building our own ethical framework,…

(Design) Thinking about Food

Through the first six weeks of theory class, we have been learning the foundations of design research, sensemaking of data, and most recently how these apply to real world scenarios through social business and social entrepreneurs. For this assignment, we focused on the idea of “Design Thinking” and how that coincides with our current curriculum. Discussions revolved…

Sebastian’s story of Social Change

For our most recent assignment in theory, our readings were focused around poverty, globalization, and social business – which is the concept of running a business with society as the benefactor in lieu of shareholders. We were tasked with creating a story, with conflict and resolution, that incorporated the the positions of the various authors and to…

Synthesizing the value of design research

Through the first few weeks of design theory class, we have read a multitude of papers and excerpts from various authors that I have been trying to connect to my personal life experience. Most recently,  we had a series of readings about the role of design research highlighting various ways to prototype, probe, and conduct research.…

A Series of Situations

As our first assignment in Theory, we were tasked with formulating a stance on ethics and responsibilities of design in society, as we understood it from the readings of five authors (Papanek, Bernays, Dewey, Vitta, and Postman). Through my own interpretation and class discussions, I tried to make sense of the positions each author made…

Bootcamp Reflection

The first four days of AC4D are in the books. Technically this isn’t even true, as we just went through bootcamp and have yet to even start the actual syllabus. It all seems daunting. This week was fast paced and threw me into a lot of uncomfortable situations like meeting the new classmates I will share my life with…

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