Chicago Camps

Prototypes, Process & Play

August 9–10, 2018

Columbia College Film Row – Chicago

Conference Overview

Learn design leadership from the experts at
Prototypes, Process, & Play.

It’s a two-day, single-track conference featuring inspiring keynote speakers, accomplished design leaders, and experienced professionals from major brands and organizations.

Curious about the name? It comes from our formula for effective design leadership:

Proven Methodologies
Creative Exploration

Sign up now–these tickets go fast!

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

These great sponsors help us make Prototypes, Process & Play affordable and accessible. These organizations see the value in design and design leadership—please show your support for the support they’ve shown us!

About Our Speakers

Great thinking on design leadership is found in many forms in many industries. We’ve curated an incredible lineup of design experts, mentors, and coaches from diverse fields to help you down your own leadership path. Our single-track format ensures you’ll get to learn from every one of them.


Antionette Carroll

Antionette Carroll
Founder & CEO, Creative Reaction Lab

Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise designing healthy and racially equitable communities for Black and Latinx populations. Creative Reaction Lab is creating a collaborative youth-led, community-centered movement challenging racial inequities in the education, media, health and healthcare, and government and public service sectors. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for non-profits working for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. Antionette’s personal mission in life is to CHALLENGE standards, make CHANGE, and CHAMPION approaches resulting in foundational and community impact. As a former Ferguson resident, the death of Michael Brown, Jr. changed her from a typical 9-to-5 graphic designer to a social entrepreneur, design thinking facilitator, community organizer, and social impact design advocate.

Also, Antionette is an active community volunteer. Antionette was named the Founding Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design in 2014. Currently, she’s the Chair Emerita of the Task Force working on long-term strategic initiatives such as the Design Census Program with Google and national Inclusivity in Design Summit. With her encouragement, AIGA created the first Racial Justice by Design program, with Antionette co-organizing and assuming the role of online producer for the national Town Hall in 2016. At the local level, she is currently serving as the President Emerita of AIGA St. Louis and co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference. Antionette also sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national non-profits. Antionette is a TED Fellow.

Antionette credits growing up in economic poverty, but having supportive community wealth as catalysts that guide her journey as a lifelong social changemaker.

For more, keep up with Antionette at or on Twitter as @acarrolldesign.

Kim Goodwin

Kim Goodwin
Author, Designing for the Digital Age

You may know Kim Goodwin from her bestselling book, Designing for the Digital Age. Kim is a consultant who helps organizations build their UX capabilities. She has served as VP of Product & UX at PatientsLikeMe and as VP Design & General Manager at Cooper, leading an integrated practice of interaction, visual, and industrial designers and the development of the acclaimed Cooper U design curriculum. Kim has led projects involving a tremendous range of design problems, including Web sites, complex analytical and enterprise applications, phones, medical devices, services, and even organizations. Her clients and employers have included everything from one-man startups to the world’s largest companies, as well as universities and government agencies.

For more, keep up with Kim on Twitter as @kimgoodwin.

Context/Leader Fit

Any seasoned designer or PM knows the importance of context: users, goals, environments, and business needs all shape the “best” solution to a given problem. And yet, designers and leaders frequently assume that a process, skill set, or attitude that worked in one place is the one right answer. Kim will discuss:

  • What characteristics of organizations demand different things from leaders
  • How to assess your leadership effectiveness within a given context
  • How to find your own context/leader fit


Amy Jiménez Marquez

Amy Jiménez Marquez
Alexa Personality Experience Manager, Amazon

Amy Jiménez Marquez is the manager of the Alexa Personality Experience team at Amazon in Seattle, WA. She’s also one of the publishers of Boxes and Arrows, an online publication devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design.

She’s been a UX professional since the late 1990s, working in both corporate and freelance settings. With a Master’s degree in Directing, Amy has also been performing improvisational comedy for over 20 years, and enjoys applying improv collaboration techniques to her daily work.

For more, keep up with Amy at or on Twitter as @amymarquez.

Andy Budd

Andy Budd
CEO, Clearleft

As a renown Design Leader and agency CEO, Andy helps companies like Virgin Holidays, John Lewis and Penguin Random House with issues of customer experience, product strategy, and digital transformation.

Andy’s role at Clearleft is to set strategy and vision, promote the value of design, and help our clients realise their digital potential. Andy is very active in the day-to-day running of the company, managing our leadership team, setting company culture, and looking after the happiness and wellbeing of our 30+ staff.

Andy is a designer at heart, having spent over 20 years in the field. He loves using his knowledge of design, technology, and human behaviour to influence product strategy. As such, Andy is in his element when working alongside board members and their management teams.

In his early career Andy helped pioneer the field of Web Standards through his work, his blog (one of the highest trafficked in the UK at the time), and the publication of his best selling book – CSS Mastery. Later, Andy helped popularise the field of UX design, setting up the UKs first dedicated UX agency, along with it’s first and arguably best UX conference.

When he’s not running the company or managing our creative output, Andy can be found sharing his wealth of knowledge at conferences around the world like SXSW, An Event Apart and The Next Web. He also curates the UX London and Leading Design conferences. In 2011, Andy co-founded the Brighton Digital Festival, a citywide celebration of digital culture attracting 40,000 visitors and over 190 events. These are just some of the reasons his company has won Netmag Agency of the Year on several occasions, and he’s appeared on both the Wired 100 and BIMA 100 lists.

Never happier than when he’s diving some remote tropical atoll, Andy is a qualified PADI dive instructor and retired shark wrangler.

For more, keep up with Andy at or on Twitter as @andybudd.

The Accidental Design Leader

Andy first came to prominence in our industry as a designer and web standards enthusiast. He was driven by a desire to improve and professionalise the industry, which is how he came to start the UKs first user experience consultancy, Clearleft. He never set out to be a design leader, but now find himself leading a team of thirty people, almost by accident.

In a quest to understand what makes a great leader, and help his friends in newly minted leadership positions, Andy started the Leading Design conference and Slack community. Over the past 18 months, Andy has interviewed dozens of prominent leaders and listened in on hundreds of Slack conversations about the art and craft of leadership.

In this session, Andy recounts his journey into leadership, shares his successes and failures, and the important lessons he’s learned on the way. The result is a talk packed full of design leadership heuristics suitable for leaders of all shapes, sizes, levels and seniorities.

Bennett King

Bennett King
Managing Partner, Konrad+King

Ben is the Managing Partner of Konrad+King, a San Diego based human-centered design studio that focuses on enterprise, healthcare, mobility and smart cities. Equal parts studio leader, design researcher and design technologist, Ben has over 20 years of expertise coupling digital systems and keen insight on human behavior. Ben joined Konrad+King in 2015 after nearly a decade embedded in Qualcomm Research where he researched and designed experiences in Augmented Reality, Human-Robot Interaction, Wearable Devices, and Connected Systems. He previously served his time at Kyocera Wireless, HP, and a number of startups. On a more personal note, he is a ninth-generation Californian, husband to a patient wife, father to two ungrateful children, and 73% sure he once saw Bigfoot.

For more, keep up with Bennett on Twitter as @skunkwurx.

Where Is My Mind? – Risking Security & Finding Sanity by Leaving Big Business for Small Design

Have you ever wondered if you could be the boss? Not just the manager, or the design leader, but someone who is ultimately responsible for decisions that shape the success or failure of your company? I’m going to tell you about my journey to become the boss, and share the lessons I’ve learned about accepting risk, finding value, creating worth, and seeing benefit in the design field.

Something tells me that this is the type of thing that gets easier the second time, but, to me, there were no do-overs in this adventure. It involved going all-in and gambling without a safety net. Along the way, I’ve found myself pondering a second mortgage to keep the lights on, losing employees and clients at the worst times, riding project highs followed by periods of drought, and somehow constantly running out of bourbon.

And this was exactly what I had been looking for. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for too, so I’ve got some stories for you.

Debra Gelman

Debra Gelman
AVP, Digital Design & User Experience, AT&T Business

Debra Gelman is a leader, strategist, author, and practitioner in the digital design and user experience space. Throughout her 20-year career, Deb has used customer behavior to drive the design of experiences for the telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, education, and publishing industries. Currently, as AVP of Digital Design & User Experience at AT&T Business, she leads a team responsible for designing innovative digital products for AT&T’s Enterprise and Small Business customers. Deb is the author of Design for Kids; Digital Products for Playing and Learning.

A Philadelphia native newly relocated to Dallas, Deb spends her free time exploring her new home state with husband Josh and daughter Samantha.

For more, keep up with Debra on Twitter as @dgelman.

Elizabeth Goodman

Elizabeth Goodman
Experience Design Director, Government

Elizabeth’s writing, design and research focus on product, service, and interaction design for organizationally complex products and services. Currently, she is the acting Director of Design at 18F, a technology consultancy within the US Government’s General Services Administration. Previously, she worked with exploratory research and design teams at Intel, Fuji-Xerox, and Yahoo! Elizabeth has a masters degree in interaction design from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, and a PhD from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a co-author of the widely used design research handbook, Observing the User Experience, published by Morgan Kaufmann, and Designing Connected Products, from O’Reilly Media.

For more, keep up with Elizabeth at

Kara DeFrias

Kara DeFrias
UX Director, Obama White House

Kara’s passion for designing engaging experiences has brought her to many exciting places, including the Super Bowl, Oscars, and most recently, the White House as UX Director for Vice President Biden. Previously, Kara was in the first class of Presidential Innovation Fellows, where she served as entrepreneur in residence reimagining the relationship between the government and the people from a technology perspective. She currently champions businesses of one at Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed.

For more, keep up with Kara at or on Twitter as @karadefrias.

The Leaders Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Health and wellness of an organization’s or project’s performance can be relatively simple. In a snapshot we can know a lot–dashboards and metrics tell us lots about how well our work is progressing, what mile stones we’re reaching, and what color-coded alert state of panic we should be in. And we can optimize our way into just about any green-colored diagram we choose.

Teams, and the humans that comprise them, are fascinatingly complex and complicated. In a snapshot, we can fool ourselves into believing all kinds of things about them. And yet, we can’t really know for sure unless we dive in deeper and learn about their health, their needs, and try to help them optimize for their individual successes. In this presentation, Kara shares her approach to the care and feeding of humans, sharing lessons gleaned from working at the highest echelons of sports, entertainment, government, and technology.

Meg Lewis

Meg Lewis
Designer, Educator

Meg Lewis is a designer creating experiences for happy companies and a one-on-one educator creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. Meg is the founder of Ghostly Ferns, a collective of designers & commercial artists and is the co-founder of Fool Proof, a shared workspace for creativity & collaboration in Minneapolis. She specializes in creating emotional connections between businesses and their audiences by adding personality to their brand. Meg is also a sought-after speaker and educator, traveling the world to present at conferences and private events on personal brand, defining a purpose, and living an authentic life.

For more, keep up with Meg at or on Twitter as @darngooood.

Full Time You

There’s no one like you on this planet, so why have a career like anyone else? Traditional career paths, like fitting into a one-size-fits-all job description and letting higher-ups determine our success, don’t work for everyone. What if there was a new path that was paved just for you? Let’s ditch the separation of work/life and embrace a new life where you get paid to be yourself! Champion your unique personality, strengths, and values to grow your life and career!

During this fun and interactive talk, we’ll cut deep into your squishy core and find what makes you, you! Grab your metaphorical lantern and head into the depths of your true self as we create an actionable plan for your future life and career as a leader.

This talk will help you identify the qualities that make you unique and translate them to a career only you can have. Meg will coach you through defining a life’s purpose that will drive your career and life decisions. At the end, she’ll guide you through creating team and relationship guidelines that help fulfill your purpose and advance your career. You’ll leave feeling confident and excited knowing your team needs your unique abilities.

Peter Merholz

Peter Merholz
Design & Product Management Executive

Peter Merholz has been active in digital design and product for 25 years, most notably in building Adaptive Path, and now a design executive and product leader. He is VP of Design at Snagajob and has co-written a book, Org Design for Design Orgs (O’Reilly).

For more, keep up with Peter at or on Twitter as @peterme.

Coach, Diplomat, Advocate, Architect: The Complete Design Leader

A challenge many designers face as they embrace leadership is learning how to let go of the work. All through their career, their success has been measured by their ability to deliver. Now they have to figure out how to shift their efforts to support the delivery of their teams. This may lead to an existential crisis – “If I’m not doing the work, how am I contributing value?”

In this talk, Peter will outline the four archetypes of the Complete Design Leader. This leader grows their design team, provides clear expectations, and does everything they can to ensure the team’s effectiveness. These leaders must broaden their purview beyond creative matters, into the managerial and operational activities that will enable their team to succeed.

Tanya Snook

Tanya Snook
Government Design Leader, Canada

Tanya is a user experience designer who focuses on citizen and employee experiences for the Government of Canada. She designs end-to-end services, content and applications with the goal of balancing the needs of citizens with those of the government staff who deliver services.

Tanya is a founder and co-chair of CanUX, Canada’s largest user experience conference. She is also a UX champion within the government, having co-chaired the national User Experience Working Group, and leading workshops and training sessions on UX methods for fellow public servants in her spare time.

Before her career in the public service, Tanya worked in various startups and consulting firms in Ottawa’s high tech sector. She holds a bachelor’s Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa and is certified as a business analyst through the International Institute for Business Analysis.

At home, you will likely find her with a latte in hand, wearing a nerdy t-shirt, listening to a podcast and tweeting. Tanya lives in Ottawa with her hubby and son (aka The Dude).

For more, keep up with Tanya at or on Twitter as @spydergrrl.


Adam McCrimmon

Adam McCrimmon
Co-Founder, XYZ Game Labs

Adam’s passion is the exciting world of Tabletop Gaming! In 2016 he co-founded XYZ Game Labs and created the card game called RobotLab with his team. He currently spends most weekends playing, talking about or designing tabletop and board games.

For more, keep up with Adam at or on Twitter as @McAtoms.

A Tale of Two Kickstarters

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take your big idea and run a Kickstarter campaign? Have you ever wondered why the heck those Kickstarters you funded took so long, didn’t deliver as expected, or in general frustrated you?

I’m going to walk you through what it’s like to go through our first Kickstarter–and share with you all the things we learned along the way. By the time this event happens, we’ll have also gone through a second campaign, and if it’s successful or fails dramatically, I’ll have even more of a story to share!

Location Details

Columbia College Film Row

We are big fans of our venue and sponsor: Columbia College in Chicago. Columbia is a great place to learn and upgrade your design skills and we’re excited to host our inaugural Prototypes, Process & Play with them!

Columbia College

About Columbia College

Columbia College Chicago is an institution of higher education specializing in arts and media disciplines, with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Check out Columbia College.

Where to Park?

There are several easy-access parking garages available in the surrounding blocks.

The Congress Plaza Hotel

Coming from out of town? We’ve set up a special rate for attendees at The Congress Plaza Hotel on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We want to be the easiest partner you’ve ever worked with–even at the traditional conference level! With that as our guiding mantra, all of our Prototypes, Process & Play sponsorships are $1,500.

Prototypes, Process & Play has many different options available that are comparable to any other large scale event, and we’re happy to work with you to create something custom to meet your needs. We’ve got a great event planned and we’d love to talk to you about how we can partner with you!

If you’re interested in sponsoring Prototypes, Process & Play and getting in front of the people who are driving the future of design, contact us or download our Sponsorship Packet.

Chicago Sponsors Camps

  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • Lead Honestly
  • Columbia College Chciago
  • MOMENT Design

Code of Conduct

All delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at any Chicago Camps, LLC event are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version
Full Version

Be respectful of other people; respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered; and if you can’t resolve an issue contact the organizers. If you are being a problem, it will be apparent and you’ll be asked to leave.