Distanced by Design

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In Distanced by Design, UC-DAAP alumni talk about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting creativity and innovation

Distanced by Design is a series of open-ended conversations among professional designers on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting creativity, innovation, and collaboration and how industry sectors or communities might change as a result.

Alumni of the University of Cincinnati's world-class College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (UC-DAAP) are the guests, and each conversation is led by Aaron Bradley, Associate Professor and Director of Creative, Culture and Social Impact Initiatives with UC's Experience-Based Learning and Career Education division.

Many thanks to sponsor Cincinnati Bell for production support.

Find all episodes at Distanced by Design on YouTube.

Hop on the couch and listen in!

in Distanced by Design Episode 1, Dominic Iacobucci of BHDP, Sarah Zahradka of Target, and Aaron Bradley of UC discuss the new "virtual whiteboard," the challenge of judging color on different displays, how a new set of constraints might drive innovation, how to find inspiration when every day is the same, and advice for young designers.


Dominic Iacobucci, BS Architecture ‘04, M.Arch ‘06


Dominic Iacobucci (Photo/Provided)

Dominic is a Partner and Workplace Client Leader with BHDP, a full-service architecture firm that specializes in designs for the workplace, retail, higher education, science and industrial organizations worldwide.

From LinkedIn: "Using project leadership, research capabilities, strategic approach, and ProSci Change Management certification, I am responsible for large, complex Fortune 500 clients. I bring logical processes, define and solve complex programming scenarios, work through design solutions, and create guidelines to define space. I've led projects around the world and learned how to successfully manage multiple projects with complex cultural, communication, regional, and schedule challenges."

Dominic has been a volunteer member of the DAAP Alumni Council on and off for ten years, helping spearhead projects such as DAAPmade, DAAPX and DAAP Council guidelines.

Sarah Zahradka, BS Design, Fashion Design ‘06


Sarah Zahradka (Photo/Provided)

Sarah Zahradka is Senior Designer for for Target's new "All in Motion" activewear and sporting goods brand.

From LinkedIn: "Current designer for all technical and performance outerwear for Men’s, Women’s and Kids for Target. Outerwear expert with over nine years of technical and fashion outerwear experience and leadership. Core strengths include product innovation, white space opportunities, guest research and data, collaboration, communication and strong leadership skills. Core job competencies include strong understanding of DWR, water proofing, temperature, clo and durability testing, as well as strong experience with down, poly fill, branded fill, international sourcing relationships and duty regulations."

In Distanced by Design Episode 2, community development experts Tamara Harkavy and Mark Muenzer discuss the challenges and opportunities of engaging with community stakeholders virtually rather than in person and adapting to remote collaboration on short notice.


Tamara Harkavy, Master of Community Planning '94

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Tamara Harkavy (Photo/Provided)

Harkavy is the Founder of ArtWorks Cincinnati.

"ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization provides youth ages 14-21, mainly from underserved households, with competitive 21st-century career readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists.

"Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that includes 190 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination."

ArtWorks grew out of Harkavy's 1993 UC-DAAP graduate school internship at Ziegler Park in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where she created a free two-week summer art camp for 50 neighborhood kids.

Source: ArtWorks website

Mark Muenzer, Master of Community Planning '99

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Mark Muenzer (Photo/Provided)

Mark Muenzer is Community Development and Transportation Director at the City of Redwood City, California.

"Muenzer has more than 20 years of experience in community development, planning, transportation and related fields. Muenzer came to Redwood City from the City of Menlo Park where he was the community development director overseeing the Planning, Building, Housing and Economic Development divisions. In that role, Muenzer managed department staff processing numerous large and complex mixed-use development projects including an eight-acre Stanford University mixed-use project and the proposed 60-acre Facebook Willow Village.

"Prior to working with the City of Menlo Park, Muenzer served as the department head overseeing the building/inspection services, planning/zoning and housing/grants divisions and managed all city transportation and mobility policy initiatives for the City of Evanston, Illinois. He also served as Evanston’s first LGBT liaison, providing a resource within city government for the community’s LGBT residents. Other experience included various management roles with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development; serving as the community development director for the City of Countryside, Illinois; and as contract services manager for the Hamilton County Development Company, Inc."

Source: San Mateo Daily Journal, "New Community Development and Transportation director for Redwood City," July 27, 2019

Distanced by Design Episode 3 features Julie Koch-Beinke and Mark Koch, co-founders and partners of Alternatives, a full-service branding and creative agency based in New York City.

In this episode, our guests discuss how two high school kids went on to form a life partnership as well as unexpected benefits for the design world as the COVID crisis creates a need for innovative ideas.


Julie Koch-Beinke, BS Design, Graphic Design '82

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Julie Beinke-Koch (Photo/Provided)

According to her bio, Julie thrives on being immersed in the creative process, being in the heart of the action (why I love NYC) and singing with Tini. Julie is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Magna Cum Laude, and the Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Program at the Yale School of Management. In addition to speaking and receiving numerous design awards, Julie holds several U.S. design and mechanical patents.

Julie is Chair of the Industry Advisory Board of LIM College for the Business of Fashion in NYC, and serves on the Fashion Advisory Board of Mercado Global. She has served on the Leadership Advisory Committee of the Dean of University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, on the Board of Directors of the Life Sciences Foundation and the Asperger Syndrome Research Foundation International. She has also served as a volunteer in the Mentor 2 Market program at the highly acclaimed Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and was a Founding Member of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise at the Aspen Institute. She conducts a yearly International Brand Development Workshop at Austrian Marketing University, University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, and taught Design as an Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Mark Koch, BS Design, Industrial Design '82

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Mark Koch (Photo/Provided)

Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

Mark is a prolific inventor, holding numerous U.S. design and mechanical patents for products ranging from fashion accessories to medical devices. He has extensive knowledge and experience working with factories and manufacturers overseas and also holds trademarks in many product categories.

He has served on the Dean’s Leadership Committee at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning and on the Board of Directors and as a Trustee of the Life Sciences Foundation and the Asperger Foundation International.

In Distanced by Design Episode 4, host Aaron Bradley and guests Brian Trainer of BHDP Architecture and Valerie Garrett of Fifth Third Bank discuss workplace design and how it has been affected by human behavior, serendipitous encounters and COVID-19.


Brian Trainer, BS Architecture and Graphic Design '07

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Brian Trainer (Photo/Provided)

Brian Trainer is lead workplace strategist and senior intern architect for BHDP Architecture. BHDP, an award-winning international architectural firm, is recognized for intelligent, innovative and inspiring design solutions in architecture, planning, interior design, project management, strategic consulting, and spatial analytics. BHDP services five core markets: workplace, retail, higher education, science, and integrated industrial design. The firm has offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta, Ga.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.

Valerie Garrett

woman smiling with wrists crossed leaning on a chair

Valerie Garrett (Photo/Provided)

Valerie Garrett is Director of Workplace Design for Fifth Third Bank. In this role, she seeks to transform the workplace into a rich, supportive environment for employees and customers alike. As a design consultant and workplace strategist, she has experience in alternative work styles and human-centered design. Her areas of expertise include workplace strategy, facilities strategy, consultative interior design, master planning and product applications.

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