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Design after the Pandemic

What’s next for design?
June 16, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
When the pandemic is behind us, we can expect changes in our lifestyle, in the way we work, communicate, socialize, consume products and services, maintain our wellbeing and function as a community.

These changes are going to have a real impact on how we design products and services and consider our climate, build our social infrastructure and plan the life of our communities.

The pandemic will also leave other changes behind. COVID-19 has accelerated the role of AI, emerging technologies and the digital world in our lives. Our industry is more closely connected to technology than we have ever been and our relationship is only going to get stronger.

As designers, we have a lot going on right now, and a lot to think about. So, we’ve gathered together some very thoughtful people – design thinkers and visionaries – to share their thoughts on what’s next for design and what the future holds for the design firm.

Join us virtually for “Design after the Pandemic” in collaboration with Pivot Design Group on June 16th, 2021, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

Event Format

Check out the event recap and recording here.


Dominira Saul
Founder of DFFRNT & Professor of User Experience in the Digital Transformation & Innovation graduate program, University of Ottawa

Dominira Saul has over 20 years of experience as a UX consultant. He holds a Master of Science degree in User Interface Design from London Guildhall University and a BA in Psychology from Carleton University.
As a consultant Dominira has successfully delivered projects for innovative startups and large multinationals alike as well as municipal, regional and federal governments around the world.

Dominira is also a passionate educator, who taught Product Design Methodology for 4 years at Carleton University in the School of Information Technology. He currently teaches UX in the Digital Transformation & Innovation graduate program offered by the University of Ottawa’s faculties of Engineering, Arts and the Telfer School of Management.

Dominira recently concluded a stint as the Director of UX for You.i TV and has since returned to the world of consulting. In April 2020, Dominira and longtime collaborator Shaun Illingworth founded DFFRNT.

DFFRNT leverages strategic insights and analysis of customer and user behaviour, combined with inspired creative design, to architect user experiences that meet organizational goals.

Irene Chong
Design Strategist & Educator

A Design Strategist and educator, Irene’s interests lie at the intersection of design, innovation, business, and social impact. She helps organizations build capabilities that enable them to understand their customer needs and create meaningful products and services for them. Irene holds a Master of Design from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and an MBA from the Stuart School of Business (IIT).

She has lived around the world and worked across the public and private sector, including New Zealand’s Inland Revenue, McDonald’s, Li & Fung, Steelcase, Adaptive Path, CEDIM University, Seneca College, Deloitte, and Fjord (Accenture). Currently she's a professor at Seneca. Irene is an amateur gardener and sailing enthusiast.

Dan Sellars
Head of Business Design and User Experience, Enterprise Strategy Lab *ESL at EPAM (New York)

Dan has worked as a multi-disciplinary design strategist with firms like Scholastic, Mastercard, Reuters, Goldman Sachs to name a few. To younger generations of designers and architects, I humbly subscribe to the idea that design is neither a procession nor a discipline; it is an acquired taste in synthesis. A good designer can, by virtue of design—can be the noun and the verb—not only solve problems but also seek them out, long before they emerge. Two decades of experience help him share "what's in it for you" by framing the opportunities through the lens of film narrative, service designing and his desire to help you write compelling strategic blueprints that get funded and understood by everyone investing in your vision.

Robin Uchida
Designer, Educator, Facilitator, and Consultant

I have always been a creative strategist and an advocate for exploring to improve. I facilitate positive change, providing insights to overcome challenges for executives, teams, or companies. This work is unique to the people and their context, in the private or public domains. The underlying process throughout is to provoke unfamiliar dialogue, to create a learning experience, and to embed personal and group tools that live beyond the moment.

I teach an interdisciplinary course called Think Tank at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Think Tank is a first-person engagement designed to instil self-efficacy and relevance in each student’s design practice. Exposure to theories, processes, and practices from a variety of sources are integrated into workshops and exercises to enhance personhood and a conscious appreciation for relatedness and responsible design.

My personal guiding question is, “What’s more important the problem you see or the problem you don’t see?” What’s yours?