top of page

Joey Zeledón


Joey Zeledón

Joey Zeledón is a designer who helps objects find their purpose in life. They do this by creating aspirational narrative identities – sticky stories that drive meaning – for object archetypes. Is it just a printer? or could it be furniture that prints? Is it just a coffee maker? or could it be a barista in your kitchen? Is it just a clothes hanger? Or could it be a closet you can sit on? In 2022, they founded a design studio based on this approach, creating purposeful objects for people and market differentiation for clients. Prior to starting their own studio, Joey brought dozens of products to market from shoes and furniture to housewares, consumer electronics and consumer packaged goods during their 15-year career working for Clarks, Continuum, Smart Design, Steelcase, and HP. Their designs have won 40+ awards and have been featured in leading publications. Joey is a proud RIT alum.

Beyond the Black Turtleneck



August 23, 2023

3:00 PM - 3:30PM


Through a designer’s lens, I’ll explore how narratives–like that of “the creative genius”– drive identity and purpose and how expression–like wearing a black turtleneck– signals that identity and purpose. In this talk, I’ll 1) highlight some historical narratives that have driven the industrial designer archetype, 2) reflect on how my own professional narrative has evolved away from this traditional archetype since starting my own studio, getting more comfortable embracing my gender fluid identity and expression (a work in progress), and 3) discuss how the things we design can have an identity transformation of their own, showcasing examples that have successfully challenged common narratives of product archetypes.

The audience will learn. . .

1) How historical narratives about industrial designers and personal narratives contribute to identity and purpose as an industrial designer

2) How to use narrative/storytelling to affirm your professional identity as an industrial designer

3) How to use narrative/storytelling as a catalyst for driving a product design transformation

bottom of page