My name is Ziya Danishmend. I am a proud father of two teenagers and reside in a quiet section of New York City with a view of the Hudson River and the Palisades beyond. I am perpetually drawn to water for the hope and promise it represents.
I am a designer by training and a XD (experience design) strategist by profession. I love what I do. I believe in the transformative power of design. Especially human centric design. I have seen it change people.
I have an innovation consultancy, Sift:lab and spend my time creating and facilitating design thinking workshops for established clients and startups to help them learn how to develop new products and services to innovate and reinvent their businesses. I studied anthropology as an undergrad and am intensely interested in field research – especially when it comes to finding better ways to help people. I went to grad school at NYU and did the Interactive Telecommunications Program(ITP) where I dove deep into thinking how technology affects our lives. Before I did what I do now I spent nearly a decade in the field of journalism working as a photographer and photo editor where I learned the power and impact of storytelling.
I was born in Japan and grew up in the Middle East and Europe. I have seen the roughest edges of humanity and the most beautiful – and I am grateful for both. Though I do hope that we can solve the former so that we can make more room for the latter.
I have spent nearly half my life abroad living as an expat and observer of other cultures and have been lucky to experience the increased self awareness and empathy that exposure to other cultures develops. I am eternally curious and am fascinated to see how we, as humans, express ourselves and work together to solve problems.
In 2016 while working for a large global client I came up with an idea to develop a product that would help my team map out customer journeys so that we might be able to discover where and how to help companies innovate . My desire was to show our clients the most opportune moments to develop new products and services that would more directly impact their customers lives. Using the AI and data capabilities of IBM Watson we made it happen. We developed a research methodology and a product that we called Arcadia. Combining the results of one-on-one behavioral research and the vast data capabilities of Watson made for an application where customer insights suddenly came to life. I am proud to say that Arcadia is finally live – Havas Arcadia
I’m here on LinkedIn.
My portfolio is here.