An art historian by training, Cameron Campbell hails from America’s east coast. She qualifies for this article, however, by way of spending the first years of her design career working in London. Her then husband Danny Stillion was teaching interaction design and multimedia at East Carolina University when he was head-hunted by Camden Town’s Ideo.
Campbell had already met Eric Spiekermann at a conference before landing in London in early 1996, where she initially worked as a curator. “Surfing the Web one day I found that MetaDesign London was looking for a studio manager. The job entailed a bit of everything, and I really liked being part of a global network, meeting people and sharing information.”
From her three years’ experience in London, Campbell concludes, “Design in England is different to the US. Perhaps it’s the tension of the class system and so many people living in such a small island. I think that friction pushes people, and designers, to take chances.”
When Stillion moved to Ideo’s Palo Alto office Campbell went to Meta in San Francisco, where she helped organise the Fuse 98 conference. In October she took a job at Ideo Product Development in San Francisco. Part of the marketing and business development team, Campbell produces analyses of projects for both clients and in-house reference. It’s her job to alert clients to the services of the San Francisco office, which integrates environmental design with Ideo’s high-profile services. Working for clients such as Xerox, Steelcase Strafor (which owns Ideo) and Amtrak, Campbell says that, “Design in the US is more corporate, but maybe it’s just that America is a more corporate culture all round.”