The Event

If sci-fi narratives were any indication, right now we should be taking hover-cars to the office and designing holograms. Alas, most of us still take a cranky subway and don’t get the chance to play with light beams and lasers as much as we’d like. Still, technology is changing the way we work at a rapid pace. Take mobile platforms. In five years they’ve gone from being an emerging part of a company’s strategy to the focal point of its future. So who is to say when virtual reality and automation become more prominent?

And then there is the matter of divergent career paths. The age-old standard of working your way up the ladder at a single company for the duration of your life has been upended by career professionals blending skills that were once thought to be mutually exclusive — like design and computer programming — to make entirely new hybrid careers in anticipation of the market needs of tomorrow.

Worried? Don’t be. We’re kicking off The Future of Work series with two bright minds weighing in on where we’re headed next. Big Spaceship founder Michael Lebowitz has grown his 17-year-old DUMBO agency into a 110-person operation that has worked on milestone client projects, like reimagining JetBlue’s digital experience, and been the subject of two Harvard Business School case studies. And illustrator Ping Zhu has built up an enviable roster of clients, relatively early in her career, counting The New York Times, Instagram, Delta, and Slack among them, while reimagining the old school craft for the digital age.

In a panel moderated by Adobe 99U Editor-in-Chief Matt McCue, they’ll discuss how they are applying their skills and background to the client needs of tomorrow, while providing an overview of what the design job landscape will look like in 5+ years.

Matt McCue / Editor-in-Chief / Adobe 99U
Matt is the Editor-in-Chief of Adobe 99U, which covers how designers are building their careers, mastering their crafts, and shaping the industry. He lives in New York City, but he is willing to travel long distances for a good meal.

Michael Lebowitz / Founder and CEO / Big Spaceship
At Big Spaceship, Michael has assembled “a crack team of digital inventors,” according to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list, and has led the company to be named MediaPost’s OMMA Agency of the Year for 2018. Big Spaceship’s multidisciplinary team structure and progressive culture have been profiled by Harvard Business School in 2008 and again in 2016, with the case study now taught at business schools in 40 countries.

Ping Zhu / Independent illustrator
Ping is a Brooklyn-based illustrator whose clients include The New York Times, New Yorker, Criterion Collection, Instagram, Harper Collins, Delta, Warby Parker, AMEX, Slack and Penguin.