Gentry presented a relatively quick talk on returning to fundamentals, with references to Charles Eames and Joseph Campbell. With the speed at which design and technology has enabled massive transformations of companies, services, products and ecosystems (Uber, AirBnB, etc), he paused to question what’s been lost along the way. He made the point that the struggle that man has had with technology has been around for a very long time. Does the technology we’ve created really serve us, or does it dictate us? More tech and surface progress isn’t always right, and we need to return to what Eames described of design—“an expression of purpose”.
Gentry Underwood is a designer and entrepreneur who has a passion for creating simple products that help people work together. He co-founded Mailbox, now a part of Dropbox, where he continues to build the mobile inbox that puts email in its place. Before Mailbox, Gentry led IDEO’s Knowledge Sharing domain and the creation of IDEO’s TUBE, an award-winning social intranet.
Gentry has a BS in human-computer interaction from Stanford University, a MA in psychology from Santa Clara University, and a MS in anthropology and community development from Vanderbilt University.