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Design Like DaVinci: Sketching Lessons from Leonardo

Video: Design Like DaVinci: Sketching Lessons from Leonardo

Brian Sullivan gave a talk to a packed Zoom webinar on Apr. 9, 2020. The talk Design Like DaVinci: Sketching Lessons from Leonardo is sponsored by Big Design and the Dallas UXPA.

Watch the video below or on the Dallas UXPA YouTube Channel.

Leonardo Da Vinci is the archetype of a Rennaisance man–an artist, mathematician, sculptor, scientist, writer, and more. As an artist, he produced a very small sample of great work that included the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Leonardo was a prolific sketcher, producing more than 13,000 pages, which are arguably his greatest legacy.

Within his sketchbooks, Leonardo thinks scientifically and creatively. We see sketches of futuristic devices, detailed drawings of human anatomy, postulations on plate tectonics, observations about diet, exercise, and heart disease. We see sketches of weapons, flowers, soldiers, flying machines, horses, and more.

Some sketches serve as wireframes for statues and bridges, while other are early renditions of paintings. For Da Vinci, his sketches were his visual thoughts. By studying his sketchbooks, lessons from Leonardo emerge. You can improve your own sketching and visual thinking on your design projects. You can design like Da Vinci.

NOTE: This talk was the #1 talk at SxSW. It has been translated into 15 different languages and seen by over 500,000 people.

Your speaker

Brian Sullivan is the Director of Design Strategy for Sabre, where he applies user research and consumer insights with the latest technology to build new products for the travel industry. He is an expert in design thinking, user research, accessibility, usability, and innovation. Brian has led design thinking workshops with several Fortune 500 companies, actively participates in the user experience community, and founded the Big Design Conference, which has over 1,500 attendees each year from around the globe.

Brian founded the UX Certification program at Southern Methodist University, where students are taught design strategy, user research, UX design, and usability testing within one semester. The program was recognized by Values College. Plus, it was a finalist for a Tech Titans Award in 2017. The UX program has been instrumental in moving students from the campus to a career and helping working professionals move into new careers in management, strategy, user research, design, front-end development, and usability.

In addition, Brian is the President of the UX Dallas meetup, which has almost 3,000 members. He sits on UNT Technical Communication Advisory Board and the XD Leadership Alliance. Plus, Brian helped to launch World Usability Day for UXPA. He is an Executive Producer on the ProjectUX TV show, which is a web-based series where UX experts help startups. Brian also supports World IA Day, Dallas Give Camp, and various hackathons each year.

Brian is an internationally recognized industry speaker. He is a Keynote Author on Slideshare, where his presentations are among the top 1% of content on the site. Brian’s presentations had been translated into 30 different languages. In 2013, his presentation called “Design Like DaVinci” was the #1 talk at SxSW. In 2015, Brian gave the #1 workshop at SxSW called “Pixel Perfect.” Brian is the author of “The Design Studio Method: Creative Problem Solving with UX Sketching” and is currently writing another book on user research and innovation.

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