In 1997, Douglas Davis had an epiphany. He found himself totally out of his element in a strategy meeting, and realized that to be truly effective, he needed to become a creative who understood the business end of things. He recognized that an understanding of business and its inherent jargon, would allow him as a creative to get in on the ground floor of shaping a project and solving elemental business problems; a scenario which would be infinitely better than working within a defective framework in the execution phase of a design project. After a period of retraining and practice, he founded The Davis Group to offer strategic solutions to client branding, digital and design problems.
In addition to client work, Douglas shares his experience and insights by teaching. He currently functions as a faculty member in the Communication Design department at New York City College of Technology, on the graduate level in the Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) program at The City College of New York, and digitally as a HOW Design University course contributor. His HOW Design University class, Creative Strategy and the Business of Design is highly acclaimed and was parlayed into a book of the same title that was published in June, 2016. Douglas does not take his sphere of influence lightly. He indicates that the most rewarding aspect of his varied roles is that of being in a position to influence young aspiring designers. He has the opportunity to nurture their abilities and channel their raw talent; and is uniquely positioned to advise on navigating the vagaries of the industry. Above all, Douglas views this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of his students, as a privilege.
The quintessence of Douglas Davis is energy fueled curiosity. He was the child who stuck butter beans up his nose, and lit fireworks inside the house simply because he wanted to know what would happen. Without a doubt, his parents heaved huge sighs of relief when he discovered art – pottery, painting, drawing, sculpture etc in high school – and found a positive outlet for both his vigor and relentless inquisitiveness. These days Douglas’ curiosity finds expression in travel; and he presents with a severe case of wanderlust. Symptoms include a compulsive desire to visit and experience new places, keen interest in the people, places and cuisine that comprise a culture.
For Douglas, a happy consequence of succumbing to this particular ailment is the gift of refreshment and inspiration. Douglas indicates that for him, travel is not a luxury, but a way of life – a means to the end of maintaining his sanity. Another result of his extensive work and leisure related travel is that Douglas has built up, and maintains a formidable network of relationships – friends, and industry related partnerships in areas around the world as diverse as India and Italy.
Douglas indicates that he is as much a fan of the creative industry as he is a practitioner, that his ‘work and play’ lines blur because he totally enjoys what he does for a living. In addition to spending time with his wife, listening to old-school hip-hop and indulging his foodie tendencies, he can often be found viewing art, and frequenting restoration hardware stores in his off work hours.
This Fall Douglas will travel to the Holy City to take us From Insights to Executions during his session for Revolve Conference at Sterling Hall.
Revolve Conference embraces, promotes and seeks to foster the interdependence between the Design, Business, and Marketing disciplines. The event features the gathering of disruptive thought leaders, talented speakers and trailblazers from around the country to share road-tested insights over three days.
Attendees can customize their personal agenda by choosing hands-on workshops on October 26, or keynotes and breakout sessions on October 27 & 28 with an aim to improve their craft, collaborate with industry peers, and learn cutting edge trends and best practices in a relatively short time.