The Story Behind the Podcast

Recliner Designer

Interviews with designers during a pandemic. The Zoomed out, 7-days-in-the-same-sweatpants stories of designers around the world during Covid-19. This podcast was created and hosted by Lance Shields, Head of International Design at Adobe. This is a private project.

Creator and Host

Lance Shields

Podcast Host

Lance is Head of International Design within Adobe Design. He leads a team whose mission is to create international-first solutions to help Adobe grow in new markets. Before Adobe, Lance had a 20-year career in Japan and the U.S. as a design director and designer for three global agencies (MRM, Scient, Agency.com) as well as running his own design firm iiD in San Francisco. His team just launched Whiteboard, an innovative tool for remote collaboration: http://adobe.ly/whiteboard. From 2011 to 2018, Lance was a partner at iiD, an award-winning design agency in San Francisco dedicated to creating meaningful digital experiences for everyone from small startups to fortune 500 companies. He received an MBA from McGill and BFA in fine art from San Francisco Art Institute.

Takeaways So Far

After interviewing 10 designers and design leaders in lockdown for the Recliner Designer podcast in SF, NYC, Shanghai, Sydney, Estonia, and Guadalajara, here are 5 takeaways so far:
  1. They largely feel fortunate to have a job that they can work at home and can imagine post-pandemic when they continue working remotely a good portion of the time.
  2. They mostly believe working and collaborating at home is doable with the current tools (Zoom, Adobe CC, Miro, etc.) and their productivity is relatively high.
  3. They miss the chance encounters and serendipity before Covid-19 and feel video calls can be too formal and controlled.
  4. Designers I spoke to had relatively high spirits through exercising, new hobbies, virtual social events, and enjoying time with family and pets.
  5. They believe design and design thinking will be extremely important during the post-pandemic in coming up with design that solves problems for people and businesses.