Born in Kaohsiung in the year of the metal monkey, when I was four, my family moved to Phoenix, where I grew up. After studying in Boston, Barcelona, Paris, and Lund, and a few years teaching in a small town in Japan, I landed in New York, where I’m currently based.
I spend my days designing with communities, teaching creative leaders, and making podcasts. Other interests of mine include cooking, making music, studying languages, and playing capoeira, a Brazilian martial art disguised in dance. My capoeira and language skills once landed me a role in a viral yodeling music video where I fought a giant rat.
I design with communities.
Some highlights of our work at Foossa include:
- rebranding/relaunching IFAD, a specialized agency of the UN;
- co-designing with genocide survivors in Rwanda;
- exploring design-centered approaches to veterans services in New York City with West Point cadets; and
- improving the long-term effectiveness of financial counseling services in NYC with the Parsons DESIS Lab
Prior to founding Foossa, I started the design practice at Purpose, a design and strategy agency that helps clients harness participation for meaningful social impact. While at Purpose, I had the opportunity to design for social impact projects in the US as well as in India, Brazil, and Western Europe.
Currently, I also work as the design education manager at AIGA, the professional association for design. My role involves supporting the AIGA Design Educators Community, as well as producing and hosting the Design Future Now podcast, the Design Future Live Instagram show, and various webinars and online events.
Here’s a video of my keynote at the 2020 AIGA Portfolio Festival. In the keynote, I synthesize highlights from the festival, share stories from my creative journey, and introduce a method for giving and receiving creative feedback.
I teach creative leaders.
I’m an adjunct professor at New York University, the Parsons School od Design at The New School, and the School of Visual Arts, where I have taught classes on social innovation, design entrepreneurship, storytelling, and futurecasting.
Previously, I taught at the College of Staten Island and at Cornell Tech. I began my career on the JET Programme where I taught English as a foreign language in Nakatsu, Japan.
I make podcasts.
I produce and host of AIGA’s Design Future Now podcast, a show about designing the future and the future of design.
My personal podcast is Easy Cook Bear, a food and culture show about how we cook, connect, and create. My guests and I share stories, swap recipes, and explore the creative processes of people who make art, culture, food, music, and more.
I also enjoy appearing on other people’s shows. In October 2020, Anne-Laure Fayard interviewed me on the Design Thinking Roundtable podcast.
Let’s start a conversation about creative collaborations, podcast interviews, and opportunities to speak and facilitate workshops. “Picking my brain” doesn’t sound so nice, but I’m always open to exchanging stories and ideas.
- Email: ls (at) foossa (dot) com
- Instagram: @leesean
- LinkedIn: @leesean
- Medium: @leesean
- Twitter: @leesean
- YouTube: @leesean
Fun fact: I played a capoeira-fighting henchman in the “Rat Attack” music video by the Gregory Brothers and Takeo Ischi. In the capoeira world, my nickname is Macarrão, which means “Noodle” in Portuguese.