April 11th / 48 min

Kevin Bethune: Reimagining design

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Kevin Bethune

Kevin Bethune

Industrial designer, entrepreneur, and author
About The Episode

Not many people can say they’ve gone from being a nuclear engineer to helping design Air Jordans at Nike. But that’s part of Kevin Bethune’s story, and today we chat with him about his journey from engineering to design.

Kevin also published a best-selling book last year called Reimagining Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation. We talk about what he hoped to learn from writing the book, and discuss a critique of design thinking, the role of rigor in creativity, and the rewards and challenges of working with multidisciplinary teams.


Kevin Bethune is a Design & innovation executive leader serving, scaling and leading creative teams as large as 30+ nationwide, and influencing global teams as large as 70+ in the definition of design functional excellence and innovation best practices while respecting local differences.

He’s also an entrepreneur and founder of dreams • design + life, a “think tank” combining strategic design and industrial design to address human-centric and holistic opportunities to solve latent needs across industries that benefit from integrated physical, digital and service-oriented experiences.

Kevin is a globally recognized speaker who’s given talks at TED, DMI, IDSA, AIGA, MIT, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, ArtCenter, Lucerne, Nike, BCG and Google Design.

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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Uncover insights from the world’s top designers and creatives

In our sixth season, we’re looking beyond the design team to explore the far reaches of collaboration, and we’ll surface a cross-disciplinary approach to doing complex work with diverse teams.