Denise Gerschbein

Executive Product Design and Innovation Consultant

Denise is a design leader, facilitator and independent consultant. She shows clients how to use the best practices of human-centered design coupled with influences from business, technology, and culture.

In her two decades of experience, she has created products, services and design systems; led clients through transformational innovation processes; and developed and facilitated capacity building approaches for spreading design to organizations of all sizes. Denise believes in the power of design to create positive social impact, and is especially passionate about systems design, ethics and humane technology.

Denise works  with a wide range of clients on projects such as homelessness interventions, clinical trials technology, “21st Century” education approaches, and smallholder farmer financial processes. In addition to her personal clients she also currently serves as Affiliate Head of Design for The Data Guild, a venture studio made up of data scientists, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs passionate about making a difference in the world through the thoughtful application of data to address critical challenges in the domains of climate change, renewable energy, life sciences and healthcare. Denise is an adjunct professor in the Interaction Design Masters Program at California College of the Arts.

Denise studied graphic design at The Savannah College of Art and Design, and received her graduate degree in Product Design from Stanford’s famous Product Design program. She spent 11 years at global innovation firm frog design, where she was the company’s second-ever female Executive Creative Director. In her tenure at frog, she designed solutions for everything from “Campbell’s Soup to NASA Mission Control,” always working in cross-disciplinary teams made up of visual, interaction, brand and industrial designers and technologists.

Denise eventually became frog’s Executive Director of Social Impact, thanks to her team’s work with clients like the Nike Foundation and UNICEF Innovation. She was the creative lead in developing frog’s Collective Action Toolkit, an open-source set of activities that guide people from unique backgrounds to bring together their skills and perspectives to address and solve challenges in their communities. The Collective Action Toolkit has been downloaded over 30,000 times in 4 different languages since its initial release, and has been adapted for use in small communities, schools, government and corporate settings. It was the winner of a Bronze International Design Excellence Award (IDEA).