Further strengthening its leadership team following the addition of Director of Strategy Daniel Perlin, experience design firm HUSH has welcomed impact-focused industry leader Michael Burkin as the Director of Growth. Burkin brings a wealth of knowledge from a storied and extensive career creating and nurturing trusted, mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues and clients alike.
Before joining HUSH, Burkin worked for strategy, design and technology company Reaktor and was also a Partner and Managing Director of Stockholm-based design studio Doberman. As Vice President of strategic design company Smart Design, he helped to scale the company to three locations, championing their culture as a way to foster collaboration between teams. Some of his most notable projects include the Aida™ calculus app for Pearson, the recent design of the MoMa website, Smart Design’s NYC taxi experience, and the SMART pediatric growth chart app for Harvard Medical School.
Burkin plans to draw on his varied experience as he helps take on HUSH’s next evolution. “The stakes are very high for the caliber of experiences that will exist in the post-pandemic world,” he explains. “Because we are now comfortable accomplishing so much at home, the bar for going out into the world has risen significantly. As an experience design firm — of offices, of public spaces, of buildings, of educational centers, of branded spaces — we have to create the most powerful, destination-worthy, IRL experiences to make them worth the trip.”
Burkin will tackle this workplace challenge by helping HUSH become a stronger strategic partner to their clients, as they consider what the return to work experience will be for their employees. But he also believes there are areas for HUSH to open up the conversation and talk about experience in an even broader way, from brand installations that signal a company’s vision or mission to multi-channel experiences that are integrated into a corporate campus or cultural space.
“I think we have a huge opportunity in front of us to think about experience more broadly, and HUSH is in the perfect position to grow this conversation even further,” Burkin continues. “Over the summer, [Founding Partner] David [Schwarz] and I discussed what growth means within a design studio. I believe a progressive, dynamic and innovative studio is built around three holistic pillars: growth, quality and culture. These pillars are intimately connected and interrelated. And growth is never for growth’s sake — it unlocks our ability to attract and inspire best-in-class talent, which fuels HUSH’s unique culture, and provides the space to design and develop category-leading concepts at scale.”
Schwarz agrees, adding, “We’ve been fortunate to see organic growth as part of our natural evolution. However, natural growth is very different from strategic, process-driven growth led by a true builder of businesses and based on frameworks that have been tested. I feel that Michael has demonstrated a great ability to think of growth as a multi-faceted endeavor, relying on the entire team to be successful and cognizant of how growth impacts a creative organization for good and bad. He’s client and partner focused but also knows that having a strong culture, supported people, and internal strength is the only way to deliver on growth and we’re so excited for an expert to help lead us forward and beyond.”
HUSH is an experience design firm.
Our mission is to design experiences for the most dynamic organizations in the world.
We leverage creative technology to help our clients communicate their mission, stories, products and services. What we design is both beautiful and functional, and has an impact on the spaces people work, invest, explore and learn.