AIGA San Francisco

the professional association for design


Designer as Founder: Joe Gebbia of AirBnB

Designer as Founder, presented by AIGA San Francisco in collaboration with PARISOMA, is a series of conversations with successful designers-turned-founders. The series kicks off this April where we welcome Joe Gebbia, CPO and Co-founder of AirBnB. We’ll hear stories, challenges and triumphs about his leap from the role of designer on a creative team to a founding role in creating a new business like no other.

Now more than ever, designers are being asked to take on the role of thought leader, technologist and creator of new innovative products. The goal of this series is to have a concrete conversation about what it takes to make ideas happen in this new environment. Join us for an action-oriented discussion with moderator Philip Wood and some of the most inspiring designer founders in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We’ll be taking questions for Joe via Twitter #designfounder

Joe GebbiaJoe Gebbia, Co-Founder & CPO

Joe defines the Airbnb experience. He is dedicated to creating an inspiring and effortless user experience through sharp, intuitive design, and crafts the product roadmap to make it so. Joe values products that simplify life and have a positive impact on the environment, and ensures that the company adheres to these tenets.

Prior to Airbnb, Joe was employed by Chronicle Books, co-founded a green design website, and developed several consumer products. An alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design, Joe earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design. He also founded the school’s basketball team and led as student body president.

Joe fantasizes about an Airbnb getaway to this Fijian private island, though his ultimate dream is to one day book a night at The Eames Case Study House No. 8 in Pacific Palisades, CA citing it as ‘a living artifact of good design.’


Philip WoodPhilip Wood, CITIZEN:Citizen
Philip Wood

Philip Wood is best known for being the curatorial and creative brains behind the international design and art brand, CITIZEN:Citizen. He is also a speaker, professor and cultural critic whose views on products, design, craft and art have led him across the world, speaking about and engaging with those who see the potential for objects as vehicles for communication.

He is passionately involved in tracking their various locations in contemporary culture, whether it be through curating, gallery inversions (where visitors bring their own objects to the gallery), museum shows and, what he calls, rogue retail practices, which are as much cultural interventions as shopping events.

Products from Wood’s company, CITIZEN:Citizen, are part of the permanent collections of both the New York and San Francisco MoMA. In the last three years, Wood and his company have been featured in over 300 magazines.

He is married to internationally renowned journalist Tania Ketenjian and lives in San Francisco.

Doors Open: 6:00 PM
Networking: 6:00 to 6:30 PM
Discussion/Q&A: 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Designer as Founder identity by faberNovel

If you need special assistance to participate in this program, please contact AIGA SF at or 415-626-6008. For reasonable assistance accommodations to be provided, please RSVP for the event and notify us at least 2 weeks in advance. If we do not receive timely notification of your reasonable request, we may not be able to make the necessary arrangements by the time of the event.
More information about accessibility, public transportation and parking.

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Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013
6:00pm - 8:00pm

169 11th Street
San Francisco, California 94103 Map


  • AIGA Members: 15.00
  • Non-Members: 20.00
  • Student Members: 10.00

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Designer as Founder Series

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