- Other Years
Consumer products or services designed to aid users in matters of health or in achieving an enhanced sense of well-being.
Linda is based in Mountain View, California, where she is an Industrial design lead within Google’s fast-growing hardware design team. She is currently focused on designing Google’s next generation of Pixel and Chrome products.
With a background in consumer electronics, Linda has a passion for designing a future based on innovation and compelling experiences. Prior to joining Google, Linda served as the Head of Industrial Design at Essential Products, a Palo Alto-based startup that launched its first PH-1 smartphone in 2017. Before moving to Silicon Valley, Linda was a Senior Designer with Motorola’s Consumer Experience Design team in Chicago, Illinois.
Linda was born in Chengdu, China but grew up in countries across the globe, including Belgium, Spain, and eventually the United States. She received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Product Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Go Peacocks!
Kelly Custer is the Founder + Design Director of Knack, a product design studio that helps innovation teams get more and better innovations into their pipeline.
Over her 10+ year career, she has seen and worked behind the curtains of dozens of big brand product innovation teams. She and her Knack team bolster these teams by helping them conceptualize and visually communicate product ideas.
While her expertise is ultra-focused, her experiences are incredibly diverse. She's designed a wide variety of products; from one-off yachts for individuals to medical devices for a Fortune 500 company to consumer electronics and housewares, and everything in between. This variety has afforded her a large and deep pool of understanding to cross-reference and pull into new projects.
When she’s not in the studio, she can be found on a mountain bike trail, trying to keep up with her husband on her dirt bike, or exploring the Tennessee river on their vintage stand-up jet skis.
Mike currently serves as Director of Product Design at Playground Global, which is a venture investment firm with an added studio of product development and technical experts. Here he blends his consulting, product design, and entrepreneurship experience to help aspiring hardware startup companies create great products and strong businesses. Prior to joining Playground, Mike worked for Google where he built a team and managed the product design and mechanical engineering efforts first with Android and the Nexus line of products and then adding projects with Chrome and Chromecast. Before that, Mike led product design efforts for startups, created new products and businesses at Lunar Design, and ran his own consulting practice. Through these experiences, he has helped develop products across industries and for many clients such as Apple, Danger, HP, Motorola, and SanDisk.
Mike first realized his passion for designing and inventing products while earning his degree in the Product Design program at Stanford. He later went on to fuel his interest in business and entrepreneurship by obtaining an MBA at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Mike grew up in Montana, and he loves to return to his home state for skiing, fishing, and simply taking in the Big Sky.