Bart Haney is the newest addition to the Innovation Group at Sterling, having joined the team as SVP – Innovation in May 2012. Bart has years of experience in entrepreneurial endeavors, education, and project management with clients ranging from nimble startups to Fortune 500 companies and huge global brands. Most recently, Bart hails from fuseproject, where he ran the New York studio and brought communication, coordination, and direction to fuseprojectâ€™s creative engagements.
â€śWeâ€™re so pleased to have Bart on the team. His expertise in product and structure design has really pushed our innovation offering to new levels. His energy and enthusiasm for what we do is infectious.â€ť
- DeeDee Gordon, President, Innovation
At two months in, we thought it was about time to introduce Bart to the greater Sterling family right here on the 3rd Button. Hereâ€™s what Bart has to say for himselfâ€¦
Q: So, Bart, youâ€™ve taken an interesting path. Not everyone starts their own company immediately upon graduating Art Center College of Design. Tell us a little bit about what led you to where you are today.
A: Itâ€™s been a path of curiosity, exploration, and evolution.Â My first company, Superhappybunny was formed at a time when micro-manufacturing was just starting to be within the grasp of well-trained designers. When my partners and I graduated from Art Center, we believed it was our responsibility to explore and guide where this would go. In order for our products to see the light of day, we needed to not only learn how to promote them out in the world, but also develop a business structure to sustain this endeavor.
Moving forward to fuseproject, I was able to hone the interaction of a design-centric vision with an evolving studio scale and philosophy. Building from the amazing vision of Yves, we were able to craft great design at the highest level for years, across an incredibly wide spectrum of challenges and brands.
All of this has led me to Sterling, where the approach to innovation and design, specifically DeeDeeâ€™s integration of articulate and well-vetted consumer engagement and co-creation, represents the next step forward for the process of product development. In a world where every consumer has a voice, we need to be amazing listeners, but even better filters to find the insights that will drive true and valuable innovation.
Q: You definitely seem passionate about what you do. What is it about Innovation that gets you so excited?
A: I am ecstatic about the idea of watching the ways of the world and finding those moments and opportunities where small focused change can make a huge impact on human behavior.
Q: What is your design philosophy? What do you feel are the building blocks that make or break great product and structure design?
A: Design Philosophyâ€¦ thatâ€™s a hard one to pinpoint. If your job and your passion are to find and capitalize on moments of cultural evolution, your philosophy also needs to always be growing and adapting.
To me, great design done well is almost invisible. Itâ€™s evident when the first time you try something/interact with something new, something about it already feels familiar and instinctual. It is the result of an immense amount of research, exploration, invention and sweat, but to the user, it feels so effortlessâ€¦THATâ€™S good design.
Q: What was it about Sterling that lured you from NYC to the West Coast to run the studio for the Innovation Group? Whatâ€™s your vision for the Innovation Group moving forward?
A: Itâ€™s about coming back to my roots in design to harvest something fresh. That and the opportunity to work with DeeDee. She and I worked on a project many, many years ago. Her laser sharp vision on the inner workings of people and culture, as well as her â€śtell it like she sees itâ€ť attitude always stuck with me. I believe that this, mixed with my love of process and product, are going to have amazing results.
Q: And now for a serious question. After spending time in NY, San Fran, and LA, is the West coast really the best coast?
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