ThoughtForm is happy to announce that Madeline Warshaw is joining us as our newest design strategy intern for Summer 2022. We sat down with Madeline to chat about her favorite Swedish designer, and how curiosity leads to a rewarding career.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m currently a Master’s student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Integrated Product Design. It’s an interdisciplinary program with Wharton Business School, Weitzman Design, and Penn Engineering. In my program and beyond, I’m passionate about leveraging collaboration and design thinking to find solutions that delight and inspire. At Penn, I also sit on the board of the Penn-Wharton Innovation Fund, making funding decisions and providing feedback to student startups. As an investment partner, I specialize in products in the lifestyle and CPG space, but also interface with startups across industries from financial services to furniture design, nut butters and more!
Outside of school, I’m an entrepreneur myself. I run a sleepwear and lifestyle brand called Goose. Before pursuing my Master’s, I worked as a designer and art director at Martha Stewart Living magazine in New York. While there, I received a world class education in all things good design. I’m also a proud graduate of Wellesley College (Go Blue!!) where I studied American Studies and French with a focus on material culture. Much like Martha, I’m a lover of interior design, cooking, fashion, art, and am trying to cultivate my green thumb!
What’s an example of design you admire today?
I love the work of Swedish interior designer Beata Heuman. She has such a masterful handle on the interplay between traditional, modern, and whimsical elements in her designs. She also has an absolutely genius eye for color. I’m looking to her for inspiration as I redo my (rental!) apartment in an old Victorian in Philadelphia.
My favorite Beata design is her daughter’s room. She took the mural from the bar Bemelmans at the Carlisle hotel in New York and turned it into a wallpaper for their London flat. Ludwig Bemelmans, author and illustrator of the children’s book Madeline, lived in the hotel for a year with his family. In exchange he painted the mural, which depicts the four seasons in Central Park through dozens of charming animal vignettes. It’s my favorite bar in the city and I love the story of a great design, first for the bar itself and now a little girl in London an ocean away! I’m a storyteller at heart and to me, great design always tells a story.
What excites you most about working with ThoughtForm?
I’m super excited to work with the phenomenal team at ThoughtForm to provide creative solutions to clients through design thinking and problem solving methodologies. I’m eager to learn what it’s like to be a design strategist at a forward-thinking firm like ThoughtForm. I can’t wait to apply my learnings from grad school to help solve complex problems, and soak up as much as I can. Ultimately, I’m looking forward to learning from clients in all sorts of industries about what they need and how we can use clever design to help.
What advice do you have for someone just getting started down a similar career path to your own?
Follow your curiosity! Curious people with varied interests and passions make the best designers, thinkers, and overall humans. Don’t feel like you need to pigeon-hole yourself! Be a Jack or Jill of many trades. Inspiration often comes from where you least expect it, so expose yourself to as many opportunities and inputs as possible.
Who’s currently on your work playlist?
I’m so delighted about the wealth of new music coming out this summer. I’m currently listening to Maggie Rogers and the band MUNA’s latest singles in eager anticipation of their full albums coming soon. I’m also a big podcast person. You can often find me listening to Armchair Expert, Bréne Brown, Design Matters, NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour, and the Every Single Album podcast.