AIGA Small Talks: Designing for Diversity @ R/GA

R/GA Austin will host the February session of AIGA Austin Small Talks, a series of intimate events that offer first-hand views of business practices, work, and studio environments of local Austin firms.

In this hour-long program, R/GA design members will address the shifting focus on how inclusion and diversity can affect the outcome of design work. Designing with diversity in mind can be a challenge, but putting humans as the focus can lead to meaningful, and inclusive work. Join R/GA Austin as they discuss the benefits of inclusive and diversified design, and thought-starters the audience can use to empower their teams and their career as a design practitioner.

Small Talks brings themed stories from industry experts to the local Austin design community. The new year arch theme will focus on diversity, inclusion, cross cultural design, and educational platforms.

We will feature 3 tech organizations through 2018, showcasing their digs, process, and followed by Q&A.




Taichi Kozaki
Taichi is a senior experience designer at R/GA Austin. He believes that brands cannot build meaningful relationships with their customers just by having a functional experience. For every project he works on, Taichi invests his time in understanding technology restrictions and gathering business requirements, and then uses his creative thinking to not only overcome challenges, but to design solutions that are unique to brands.

Within R/GA, he has worked out of the Austin and London offices where he has been designing products and services for brands across the U.S.A, Europe, and the Middle East. His clients include Dyson, Akbank, Sonic Drive-in, McCormick, Techstar Metro Accelerator, to name a few.

Outside of work, he likes to spend most of his time hanging out with locals at his friend’s bike shop in East Austin or catching red-eye flights to see his family in Tokyo.

Taichi received his B.F.A. in advertising from Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah GA.



Katrina Bekessy
Katrina is a Sr. Technology Director, leading the technology department in R/GA’s Austin/Southwest region. Her experience is focused on building enterprise-level software products and services, and providing technical consulting and strategy for business transformation. Over the course of the eight years that Katrina has been at R/GA, she has worked on award-winning projects for clients such as Walmart, L’Oreal, Fossil, Samsung, McCormick, and SONIC Drive-In.

In her role, Katrina acknowledges that technology is much more than the quality execution of code. Being strategic about technical decisions, how they impact a company's overall business, and building a strong developer culture that is able to maintain the integrity of digital platforms and ecosystems are critical to her work and the teams she leads.

Winning awards and recognition for collaboration and leadership, as well as being listed in Forbes’ “30 Under 30 in Advertising & Marketing,” Katrina has a broad range of expertise in implementing experiences that put the consumer at the center. Katrina received a BA in advertising and multimedia design from Pepperdine University and her MFA in design and technology at Parsons where she focused her studies on interactive computation and IoT. Outside of technology, she enjoys getting the hang of being a mom, working on countless DIY projects, yoga, and dreaming of being a Great British Bake off contestant.



Juan Pedro Gonzalez
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Juan kicked off his career in Barcelona, Spain at McCann Erickson. Since then he has acquired experience in different markets and specialties working for agencies like JWT, Y&R, and most recently LatinWorks where he led creative efforts for brands like Target, Starbucks, and Domino’s. Throughout his career he’s also developed work for clients like Mars, Nestlé, FedEx, Wendy’s, and AT&T.

At R/GA Austin, Juan holds a hybrid role as Design Director, where he combines his expertise in advertising with experience design to create meaningful and thoughtful user experiences.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and is a certified yoga instructor. On the weekends you can find him at one of the many yoga studios in Austin, or chasing after his dog, Greta, at Zilker park.



Dario Fidanza
Dario is a Designer at Creative Tonic. Originally from Argentina, Dario has worked in brand design, UX, print, packaging, fashion, film and digital design for the past 15 years.

He loves building community engagement and ventures part of his time as organizer for several local design groups. He is the AIGA Austin Small Talks chair, currently focusing the topics for 2018 in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. 

Dario always brings the foresight of strategy, methodology, and system-thinking into his problem solving work. Dario’s curiosity keeps him constantly in search of knowledge. He studied User Experience Design,  Interaction Design, and Visual Communication. 


When & Where
Thu, Feb 22, 2018 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM CST
R/GA Austin
405 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703