Kirsten Southwell

Kirsten Southwell

Creative generalist and problem solver located in Chicago, Ill.



Member Since

January 2023

After earning her Bachelors in Graphic Design from North Carolina State University, Kirsten started her career at Second Story Interactive Studios in Portland, Ore. as an emerging Experience Designer. She was recruited to move to Chicago to work in-house for the Experience Design studio at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she shaped the digital product landscape for the museum. Eventually she became the Creative Director, Visual Design where she managed the museum’s visual design team to address needs across exhibitions, marketing, digital products, print materials, placemaking, and brand. After six years at the museum, Kirsten left to work for Fjord (now Accenture Song) to dive in deeper to design strategy and the field of Service Design as a Service Design Lead.

Ask me about

The logistical sides of experience design—operations, project management, staffing, etc.

My super power is

Always finding a way to move myself, and teams, forward

I'm looking for

Bridges to bring service design into physical space

What I love about experience design

I have a lot of curiosity about our natural world, specifically rocks, birds, butterflies, and the prairie biome. I often find my work drawing metaphors or inspiration from these areas of inquiry.

Best piece of advice I've ever heard

Aiming to be the most helpful person on a project will get you much better results than aiming to be the smartest or the most creative.

Where I find Inspiration

In watching people’s reactions and being constantly surprised

Practice Area

Digital Experiences, Strategy/Research/Planning

Focus Area

Brand, Digital, Graphic, Interactive


Corporate, Healthcare, Retail, Transportation, Urban + Civic, Workplace