Surya Vanka is a transdisciplinary designer who has worked at the leading edge of physical and digital experiences. He is founder of Authentic Design, president of the Seattle Design Festival and chair of Interaction Week 2019.
Surya was director of user experience at Microsoft, a tenured professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study. He is creator of Design Swarms method, a light weight design technique used in business, non-profit and education worldwide.
Surya won the Microsoft Engineering Best Practice Awards twice, Ohio State University 50th Anniversary Distinguished Design Alumnus Award, Microsoft Achievement Award, Accessibility Achievement Award, World Brand Congress Leadership Award and several other industry recognitions. He frequently keynotes speeches at the most prestigious conferences and has won top speaker awards three times. He is judge for Singapore Design Awards, and reviver for design curricula for universities in the United States and Europe.
Surya’s design work has appeared in numerous publications and news programs, including TEDx, Form, I.D., Design Council, WIRED, Interactions, the BBC and National Public Radio. Surya is the author of two books on design, several publications, and has taught design on every continent but Antarctica.
ZAMORA graduated from Havana Design Institute (ISDi) in 2000 and worked for four years in prestigious cultural organizations in Havana, Cuba. In 2004 he immigrated to Quito, Ecuador and later arrived in the U.S. in 2006. He lives in the 19th century Victorian neighborhood of Lafayette Square near downtown St. Louis, with his wife Juliana, daughters Aitana and Lucía, and a dog named Luna.
His early professional endeavors in Cuba included The Office of Historical Restoration for Old Havana, Alicia Alonso's National Ballet of Cuba, Casa de las Américas, Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and cigar company Habanos S.A. Between 2000 and 2004 he served as Art Director for the magazines: Opus Habana, Gaceta de Cuba, Anales del Caribe, Cuba en el Ballet and Conjunto. Magazines, book covers and posters resumed his professional life in Havana.
He is a former President of AIGA St. Louis and serves as a brand chair on several boards. He cherishes a fondness for poster design, Russian cartoons, propaganda art and cigars -Cuban or not. He can often be found at Brennan’s Cigar Lounge daydreaming of his next poster show. His illustrations have been published by the New York Observer, The Boston Globe, Ad Age, American Lawyer, The Wall Street Journal, Alive, and St. Louis Magazine.