Thoughtform is happy to announce that Lloyd Spencer has become the newest member of our team of designers. We sat down with Lloyd this week to talk about car-free streets, human-centered design, and the hottest tracks on a 2-year-old’s playlist.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I have twenty years of experience as an Industrial Design professional working in different countries on consumer and medical products. I’m passionate about collaborating and connecting the dots to deliver coherent and consistent human-centered brand experiences across physical and digital touchpoints. I love working with cross-functional teams to shape the design details and bring successful products to market. Above all, I’m a champion of design for people and the planet.
What’s an example of design you admire today?
Being passionate about sustainability and accessibility, I admire any product or brand that moves the needle on these topics. Brands like Patagonia, Apple, and Allbirds come to mind. Being a parent to a young child, I’m acutely aware that the design choices we make today affect his future. A design and a brand I admire is the British start-up clothing company Petit Pli and their innovative Little Human pleated clothing that grows with the child! Living in the Netherlands for 10 years, I loved seeing firsthand the role design can play in redesigning our cities to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact of climate change through considered city planning. For example, car-free streets and green spaces that actively help reduce temperatures and prioritize pedestrians and greener forms of mobility. Every year during Pittsburgh’s Open Streets Events I dream of how this might take hold here too! On this topic I was riding my bike the other day and encountered my first Rivian Electric Amazon truck in our little Pittsburgh neighborhood that made me stop and say wow, this is a super cool thing!
What advice do you have for someone starting down a similar career path to your own?
Stay open and willing to continue to learn. Twenty years after graduating I can honestly say I’m still learning to be an Industrial Designer. Champion the things you are passionate about. The things that motivate you, be it sustainability, accessibility, design research, a new tool, or technology like AI—whatever drives your creative passion. Find ways to bring it into your projects. Be persistent: there will be times when it feels like none of your ideas are sticking. Keep believing and keep collaborating. Finally, be proactive and find opportunities to collaborate beyond your team. In my experience, this helps you develop and grow your influence in live projects.
Who’s currently on your work playlist?
My playlist has gone awry right now with songs about Rainbows and Construction trucks beloved by our 2-year-old. I strongly recommend checking out Twenty Trucks on Spotify or YouTube! When I do get to listen, I have Pulp, Radiohead, Khruangbin, and Wet Leg on my playlist.