Thom's presentation was entitled, "What Inspires You, Inspires Me", and I felt like I was reading a sacred text when he shared the components of his 5 step design formula:
Thom presented 4 case studies (previous projects) and talked in detail about the way he approached each design plan. The in-depth discussion was almost like interning with him on a project--priceless! It was good to see a successful designer using (and improving) on many of the same principles I'm now learning in design school. For me it reinforced my belief that knowing the principles is important, but by no means all it takes to be a successful designer. Learn it, expand upon it, and make it your own.
Thom talked a lot about his background and how he got to where he is today, including how he got discovered (stuck in an elevator with a talent scout and claustrophobe!) and the inspiration behind his furniture line. He shared that he's working on a new book due out next year (yes!!!) and talked about organically following & nurturing your career as a designer. He was full of wisdom, and I'm glad I was able to hear him in an educational environment, because it met me right where I am in my career.