dreams • design + life (pronounced "dreams, design and life," or dd•l for short) is not a typical design & innovation agency. We partner with like-minded, visionary brands who want to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve, and we do so through multidisciplinary collaboration. As much as dd•l is focused on helping brands achieve their near-term goals, dd•l believes in spending an equal amount of time investigating the future to ensure we are prepared for the key uncertainties and pivotal shifts ahead of the business. We ultimately want to help brands prepare for that future through a robust innovation strategy, and then dive deep on the specific offerings that make sense to create based on present and forecasted latent needs. We believe that approach (balancing breadth and depth) serves everyone better, and we will curate the projects we take on accordingly.
Of particular emphasis, dd•l wants to live at the intersection of physical & digital experiences (e.g. smart devices, internet of things (IOT), etc.). Although we've all seen a lot of disillusionment in this space, the technological capabilities are now reaching a tipping point where there will be a tidal wave of lucrative opportunities. For example, the IDC predicts the number of wearable devices will reach 200 million in 2020, and 5 times that amount of smart home devices by 2022. For this reason, dd•l will curate its engagement in projects where there is a clear opportunity to create a holistic ecosystem with an empathic, tangible artifact (i.e. a physical product) at the center. This does not mean that we’re open to solve all types of problems with our creative faculties, but we’re going to be very direct and target those potential collaboration partners who embody the same vision.
industries of focus:
innovation strategy - comprehend the mechanics of your innovation funnel, the effectiveness of concept creation and how that informs your product roadmap over time.
trend curation & future visioning - comprehend the trends that inform the art of the possible, and imagine future landscapes that help you manage for uncertainty today.
ethnographic research - investigate sources of friction affecting your high priority consumers and end-users, and elevate the insights that will drive new & novel concepts.
concept design - leverage our deep understanding of your consumers to craft seamless and holistic user-experience narratives that we can quickly test for market resonance.
industrial, service and/or product design - design the most empathic solution that addresses the identified friction through multidisciplinary creative problem-solving.
product development - continue our partnership into the “build” to ensure the design guiding-principles are upheld through every phase of the product development process.
flexible means of engagement:
founder & chief creative officer
dreams • design + life
As a design & innovation leader with a rare combination of multidisciplinary skills, Kevin Bethune brings a unique creative sensibility and heightened sense of empathy to every collaboration. As chief creative officer, Kevin sets the tone for every engagement along values-driven guiding principles. Leveraging Kevin's "polymath" journey, dd•l maintains differentiated positioning in the market by providing an experience base deeply honed at the intersection of design, business and technology. Kevin brings 20 years of experience creating great product and exercising servant leadership for large global organizations (e.g. BCG Digital Ventures, Nike Inc., Westinghouse Nuclear). Before starting dd•l, Kevin created world-class Strategic Design capabilities within The Boston Consulting Group during his tenure as Vice President of Strategic Design within BCG Digital Ventures.
Recognizing that no idea is born in one place, Kevin makes it a point to regularly connect to external networks to ensure ideas and inspirations are cultivated in an open-source manner. Kevin has given keynote talks at TED, AIGA, DMI (Design Management Institute), DRDS (Design Research Design Strategy 2017 in Hamburg, Germany), ArtCenter College of Design, Parsons School of Art & Design, Yale School of Management, Woodbury University and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He serves on the ArtCenter alumni advisory board (recently renamed as FullCircle) and the Executive Committee of the DMI Board of Directors. You can also find Kevin's perspectives present within editions of the DMI Review, Bloomberg, John Maeda's "Design.Blog," his published TED talk from the TED@BCG event in Milan (October 2017), and the "The Design of Business, The Business of Design" podcast led by Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand at the Yale School of Management.
Kevin has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Notre Dame, an M.B.A. in Finance, Strategy & Entrepreneurship from The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, and a M.S. in Industrial Design from ArtCenter College of Design.