Special Projects in NYC
For 12+ years, I’ve brought to life networks as a designer, manager, writer, educator, & power user.
Now, I'm directing a gift shop of artist collaborations at Are.na and teaching design at Princeton.
✨ laurel dot schwulst at gmail dot com
Are.na is a platform for networked curation & research. It's been my public brain for over a decade. I've also been a core advocate at Arena both formally and informally: hosting events, publishing commissioned interviews & essays, maintaining popular public channels, and commissioning artist collaborations for their store.
Role: Concept, director
Role: Commissioned author
I have been an award-winning teacher of semester-long undergraduate and graduate design courses and workshops at Yale, Princeton, and other universities. I also lecture internationally. As part of those roles and independently, I create immersive videos, essays & tutorials about design, technology, and the creative process. Learning happens when people are comfortable and curious — and this feeling can be created through thoughtful pacing and the right amount of mystery. I’ve produced learning content for the New York Times, The Creative Independent, and others.
Roles: Director, writer, editor
Roles: Writer, editor, publisher
Roles: Creator, archivist
I gave form to a new feature on Co-Star, the world's most popular astrology app. It was exciting to work on a platform interested in natural cycles & networks of people.
I engage with organizations when they need to re-think their identity and information architecture on the web. My process for building lasting and accessible design begins with research and dialogue to re-articulate the goals of a project to arrive at a shared language through shared documents. Once we build this structure, the design and development fall naturally into place — it’s the easy part. Clients include Kickstarter, Artists Space, and Eyebeam.
Roles: Lead design, front end coding, strategy, research, information architecture, accessibility testing and education, team building
In 2016, I joined Kickstarter to launch “The Creative Independent,” a unique digital platform serving creative professionals. As creative director, I was involved in everything — from establishing our principles, to designing the site, to building with code & copy, to growing an aligned team and process. The vision was a “Wikipedia of the creative process,” a networked resource that was radically readable and evergreen. I built the site with evolution in mind — it’s constructed to grow every day and be gardened over time. The site has continued to grow and evolve like a living organism and today is a network of over 1500 interviews: a rich database of thought from writers, musicians, designers, visual artists, and others in six languages.
Roles: Design, strategy, code, writing, team building
This essay has become required reading in many design syllabi worldwide and has been translated into multiple languages.
“i think that @thecreativeindp has the best web design of any blog ('digital platform') that i have seen ... it's such a pleasure to visit after a time away, and find the homepage has completely changed.” — @theinvertedform on Twitter, summer 2020
I was core to the growth of Linked by Air, a design & technology firm specializing in design systems and creative tools for cultural organizations. I worked with clients through the entire product lifecycle — driving design, front-end development, & project management. I also led design of the studio's popular CMS, Economy (ecnmy.com). Selected clients include the e-commerce site Printed Matter (the world's largest artists' bookstore), which helped double Printed Matter's online sales; the Yale AIDS Memorial Project; and the popular urban game Midnight Madness, which raised $7m for charity.
Role: Lead design, content architecture, user testing
ambient, live-streamed artist-made wind chimes
dynamic seasonal variable typeface & sound
tutorial that doubles as a meditative experience
interviews with artists & technologists about simple tools
exploring new ways of publishing to the www
accessible website design & identity
calming website for philosophy by Yancey Strickler
an app & "ode to airplane mode"
information architecture for generous traversal
slowly color shifting & collage-based artist website
graphic identity, signage, & website for the "San Antonio T"
web presence weaving architecture, poetry, & nature
creative strategy, web identity, writing, code, etc.
a book of 36 lyrical fragrance reviews
early artist-run gallery that exhibits & sells files as artworks