IBM is not typically known for putting themselves at the forefront of a design revolution. But things are changing at Big Blue and Irish designer Lara Hanlon is among those making it happen. IBM currently employ Lara and 50 other designers in their European Design Centre in Dublin, lassoing together the largest gaggle of designers in the country. Now we think of it, what should the collective noun be for designers? We’re big fans of Lara’s work, so we thought it fit to showcase it as one of our first posts.
Lara graduated in 2013 from the Design in Visual Communications Course in IADT and in 2014 travelled to Austin, Texas to attend IBM’s flagship design studio.
You’ve probably seen her graduate project, éntomo. It made broadsheet at the time and got pretty viral. People chomping down insects will tend to do that. It won the New Star Award in the Shenzhen Design Awards for Young Talents, in China. She’s also had work exhibited at Milan Design Week and Liminal and is a Panelist at 100 Archive.
Lara says of her process:
Research and rapid exploration of ideas are key to understanding complex problems and identifying new design opportunities.
Lara has spoken at TEDX, in Dublin, the Bulgaria Web Summit, OFFEST, Inspirefest Conference, IxDA and Milan Design Week. She’s featured in Offscreen Magazine and has blogged for Marvel and Bloomsbury. But it’s Lara’s work that stands out, even at such a young age.
For me, the process of reaching a successful outcome is the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding aspect of being a designer!
Currently, Lara is Designer in Residence at IBM Design in Dublin, working on delivering breakthrough software product design for the multinational. She’s worked on the IBM Security portfolio and educates younger designers within the company on design thinking. She also lectures at IADT.
We love the penchant in Lara’s work for stridently bright, almost abrasive, colour combinations, bold shapes and a confident commitment to simplicity. Seeming to take inspiration in part from smart exhibition design of a particular Irish kind, this lends her work a light sense of gravitas even when playing with iconography and photos.
For a designer so young to be taking the time to school those less experienced is especially commendable. We look forward to seeing where Ms. Hanlon’s career takes her. We may even yet be coaxed into trying an insect supper.