Co.Design

Farewell, It's Been A Privilege

Co.Design’s founding editor bids adieu.

After three-and-a-half years as founding editor of Co.Design, I’m departing to pursue another opportunity. But it’s just me leaving. Co.Design’s talented staff, which has made this site what it is day after day, is ready to take it to the next level.

From the outset, Co.Design was built upon a two-part strategy: To provide cutting-edge thinking, ideas, and inspirations to a talented audience of designers shaping the future, but also--and perhaps more importantly--to raise design’s profile in the broader conversation about where our culture is today. Put another way, we want to serve people who have the word "designer" in their job title but also the broader audience of people who, in myriad different ways, are creators and designers in their own right.

I think we’ve gotten there, and an email I received recently from a designer I admire underscored that point:

I’ve been in the industry since I was 19. In that time, I never consistently looked at any website about design. None of them really seemed that good. That changed when I discovered Co.Design. For me, it was the first time a site was actually talking about things I was interested in, all the time. So: thanks.

I can’t help but contrast that quote with one from an editorial consultant who weighed in during Co.Design’s planning, telling my boss, "Who gives a shit about any of that stuff?" Millions of people, actually.

Anyway, publishing is a hard industry, and it’s rare to get much by way of recognition or praise, so I wanted to reprint the preceding quote as kudos again to the amazing staff at Co.Design, who I believe is, pound for pound, one of the best in the business.

There is already a terrific slate of stuff that you all will see in the coming months: Having just finished with the shortlists for the Innovation By Design Awards, I can say that it’s the best collection of design work I’ve ever seen in any American design competition; the October design issue, in which the award finalists will be announced, will be filled with some of the most fascinating, ambitious design stories in recent memory; and the awards gala and design conference already has an inspiring line-up of speakers and sessions.

It’ll be up to the next editor-in-chief of Co.Design to figure out whether the site will pivot in some way, or grow more gradually in new directions. Either one will be exciting to watch.

My former boss, Noah Robischon, one of the savviest digital-content strategists working today, is presently looking for my replacement. If you’re interested--and have a compelling vision for Co.Design’s next stage--email him at nrobischon AT fastcompany.com. Make sure that your email subject line is "Co.Design Editor," and include your clips, resume, and an initial pitch for the site.

As a final note, I would like to thank our readers for all of their passionate support and often intense criticism. I’ve loved telling and curating stories for you all.

As a parting shot, I offer the picture above of my dog Snow, whom a couple of you might recognize from her various appearances on Co.Design’s homepage. Here she is getting her first look at the Pacific Ocean.

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8 Comments

  • Carlos Pineda

    I'm an Industrial Designer from the Philippines. I migrated from core77 to Co.Design and was hooked immediately. This has been my go-to website when I want to learn about Design. Thanks, Mr. Kuang and your staff.

  • Alphin Aloor

    I'm 19. Pretty sure this website has changed my life. And design will be an important part of my life, after this.

  • Gloria

    I'm a industrial designer living in México, somehow one day I end up in this site, and I most say, I love it... I've learned a lot through my everyday visits. Honestly, I haven't discovered another site with this amazing quality content. Thank you. 

  • Whea7

    Thanks for giving me tons of awesome articles every day, Cliff.  I wish you the best in what you do and look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

  • Ryan_coulter

    Best wishes and adios Cliff. I am sure our paths will cross again.  You have done a great service to the worlds of design, business and journalism.  Thank you for making Co.Design a daily read for myself and so many others.