big design Art


One afternoon back in 2010, I was in he Sabre usability lab chatting with Brian Sullivan, the usability guy and most people know as the the Big design chair. Brian was sharing with me about his work on the Design like Da Vinci presentation which was destined to become immensely popular. Anyway, I was new at Sabre and Brian and and i were becoming more acquainted. We had talked at various design events around the area. and I had been to the Big Design conference a couple times. Brain and I would soon become close friends.

Brian is Mister Big Design.  He was one its founders and has been at the helm since, making it ever bigger and better than the year before. What began as an  idea between a few like-minded UX design enthusiasts has become one of the notable conferences on design in North America and has sprouted a Latin America event as well.  

Well, anyway there we were in the lab talking usability and design stuff and Brian asks me , “Roger, do you know anyone who is a renaissance person today?” And I had to answer that question with a question, saying, “Brian, have you seen my art?” So I showed Brian photos of my steel figures.

How it all started

But it was when Brian saw the piece I had made for my UX design team in Sabre Airline Solutions, that his wheels started turning. The design was based on our logo we had recently designed for our internal consulting services. We designed user interfaces for industrial strength systems used by the airline industry. It was simple logo, UX with wings. Get it. Anyway, we were proud of it and I was inspired to see how it looked in steel.

Brian saw it and instantly asked if i would be willing to make something like that for Big D. The idea intrigued me. One thing led to another and before long long I was working on 50+ small pieces to be thank you gifts to the speakers and something really big as a centerpiece.

There is more to the story, but I’ll say that since 2011, the conference and related events have given me an eager audience for testing new sculptural inventions.  I'm delighted to be referred to as the resident artist of big design.  


Now, as I say that, I should take a just moment to add that anyone who knows Brian Sullivan really well knows that Brian has at least a hundred or more very close friends. He’s that kind of a guy. I know for certain that I am one of his closest friends and I also know that there are a few dozen people that feel that same way. And I know that we are all correct! Those psychologists who tell you that no one can have more than a handful of very close friends, they don’t know Brian Sullivan.