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People to Watch in 2012 BACK FORWARD

julie beeler


Julie Beeler is co-founder of Second Story. With a background in visual design, art history, and the liberal arts, she leads the studio in shaping unique, innovative, interactive experiences that peak curiosity, spur discovery, and inspire audiences. Beeler has defined and sustained an approach to interactive media design that focuses on reaching diverse audiences while pushing the limits of technological innovation. From concept through completion, she interacts with various industry disciplines, guiding the studio to realize holistic approaches to successful projects. Since 1994, Second Story has been recognized as a leader in both online and on-site interactive media design. Beeler has collaborated with many of the world’s outstanding cultural institutions, such as the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and National Geographic, to create compelling projects that have been featured in the popular press and in dozens of books. The studio’s pioneering work has garnered many of the industry’s top interactive design awards, including recognition in the National Design Awards. She is a frequent speaker at various conferences and schools across the country on topics ranging from interactive design methodologies to usability and the marriage of rich content and technology. She is currently serving on the National Board of the AIGA. Beeler graduated magna cum laude with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and Art History from the University of the Pacific.

Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this affect your design style or sensibility?
I was born and raised in Portland OR where I currently live. The Portland I live in now is not the Portland I grew up in, but there is a spirit of the values of local, outdoors, alternative, progressive, sustainable, DIY that continues to live on in me today and informs how I live my life and do my work.

If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living?
I would be a quilter or a cook or a gardener.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
I love to problem-solve, and I am always asking myself what I can do to make something the best it can be, which is probably my greatest weakness. I love to conceive of and execute a creative vision; it is like creating one big beautiful quilt. You have to put all the unique and diverse pieces together, pull them apart and put them together differently, swap out each piece for something new to ultimately create the most beautiful, meaningful, and engaging experience.

Design Heroes?
Josef and Anni Albers
Favorite Color?
All shades of green
Favorite Typefaces?
Georgia, Dolly
Favorite Apps?
How To Cook Everything, Google Maps
Favorite TV Shows?
Modern Family, The Office
Favorite Books?
Cutting for Stone, Catcher in the Rye, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Future of the Past, Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories
Favorite Movies?
Hugo, Amelie, Star Wars ‘A New Hope,’ Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, There Will Be Blood
Favorite Music?
Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Neko Case
Favorite Fine Artists?
Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke
Favorite Gadget?
Canon 7D
Favorite Websites?
New York Times, Library of Congress
New Year’s Resolution?
Climb More Mountains
One Thing You Can’t Live Without?
It is very sad and pathetic, but my iPhone
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
The ability to sing or play a musical instrument
Best Gift Ever Received?
My Bernina Quilter’s Edition sewing machine
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
“Get Real Fast”