Aaron Irizarry is the guy covered in tattoos that appear to be climbing out of his shirt collar; and although Aaron may have once been the proverbial bad boy, there’s absolutely no reason to be intimidated. A first generation Cuban-American, Aaron spent his formative years in Temecula, CA, skateboarding, listening to music and developing an appreciation for sports. In his early twenties he was the frontman for ‘Point Of Recognition’ – an underground punk and metal band; and by necessity functioned as the band’s designer, responsible for creating flyers, t-shirts and other promotional materials. It was this initial ‘dabbling’ that led to Aaron pursuing a career in design.
Aaron is currently the Director of User Experience at NASDAQ. He is an accomplished and inspired designer, as well as a sound application developer. Aaron finds the process of collaborating with designers and other creatives to ‘breathe life’ into a client’s vision quite gratifying. With that in mind, Aaron consults with companies to provide design studio, and collaborative critique workshops to help their product teams, managers and other stakeholders improve the discussion around product design. Aaron is happy to have realized the long held goals of being in a position to impact the design community by teaching, speaking at conferences and writing a book. He is co-author of the recently published book – Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique. The book presents a framework for helping design teams give and receive critique.
Away from work, Aaron enjoys cooking, and hanging out with his wife and two daughters. He is blessed with the gift of hospitality, and is known for hosting epic BBQs which feature his signature smoked brisket and pork shoulders. In addition to being an avid Dodgers fan, Aaron is fond of Mexican wrestling (Lucha Libre), and collects lucha libre (luchador) masks. Friends aware of his mask collection once showed up at a conference he was presenting at wearing luchador masks, hailing him ‘El Cubano Magnifico.’
In essence, Aaron Irizarry is a ‘salt of the earth’ kind of guy; funny, approachable, transparent and teachable. He is well-loved and respected by family, friends and associates in the design community. In the final analysis, Aaron hopes to be remembered as someone who invested in those around him, and left things better than he found them.
This Fall Aaron will travel to Charleston to encourage us to Hold Fast: Managing Design Teams When Projects Go Sideways, during his session for Revolve Conference at Sterling Hall, located in the Upper Historic District of the City of Charleston.
Revolve Conference embraces, promotes and seeks to foster the interdependence between the Design, Business, and Marketing disciplines. The event features the gathering of disruptive thought leaders, talented speakers and trailblazers from around the country to share road-tested insights over three days.
Attendees can customize their personal agenda by choosing hands-on workshops on October 26, or keynotes and breakout sessions on October 27 & 28 with an aim to improve their craft, collaborate with industry peers, and learn cutting edge trends and best practices in a relatively short time.