On December 12, The Richmond MBA held its 12th dinner for the MBA Dinner Series.  Jordan Childs, founder of Shine Craft Vessel Company and Eastern Land Collective Design Studio, hosted the event.  

The dinner conversation focused on the topic of design. Students read the New York Times Magazine article titled, “Inside the 21st-Century Craze for Redesigning Everything” by Rob Walker in preparation for the evening.

“It was a good environment for the topic,” Childs said. “We had a number of experts that were there, so we talked about everything from what is design, how has it evolved, and what is the real definition of it?”

The MBA program created the Dinner Series to provide students with additional experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom. The dinners are intimate gatherings of about 12 people in a business leader’s home, where MBA students, alumni, topic experts, and a faculty facilitator come together to discuss a focused topic

“It was a very inspiring conversation that I have taken with me to work and try to apply on a daily basis in my designs,” said Julia Simo, GB’18.

Childs agreed to host the event because he recognizes the importance of encouraging young entrepreneurs in RVA.

“The ability to meet and have an evening conversation with people that are leading in the design community locally and internationally is just a really cool experience,” Childs said. “Everyone was passionate about designing something that was functional, that mattered, and that served a purpose.”

And students agreed the unique experience gave them an intimate environment to discuss ideas, and brainstorm ways to make them a reality.

“Richmond is a dynamic growing city with a mix of cultures, perspectives, innovation, and creativity,” said Molly Manuse, GB’18. “It is a city in which Richmond MBAs can really flourish by bringing design thinking to life in an infinite number of projects that improve the community and its residents, and there would be a very supportive community of designers, academics, innovators, etc. available to help.”

Here are some of the key takeaways participants shared after the dinner:

“How we approach design is changing. Many of us have learned to design with antiquated construct. These are due for re-evaluation, with some being timeless and others requiring complete overhauls.” - Amber Answine, GB’18

“Design is a mindset focused on empathizing with the person who will ultimately interact with the product you are developing.” – Hill Shore, GB’18

“One method to design new business ideas is to think differently. Write things down that would never work together, take opposites and combine them together; you might just invent the next Frappuccino.” - Georgia Gristwood, GB’17

“It was a lot of different perspectives, but ultimately everybody did agree that design was, at its most core, building something for a particular purpose, to accomplish an objective, and be thoughtful about how it’s presented, and that was the cool take away for me.” – Jordan Childs, host of the Dinner Series