Meet our Lead Design Researcher: Sam

Matthew Charles Davis
Mar 16, 2022
Meet our Lead Design Researcher: Sam

Sam joined FF in May, 2021. She is is a community builder, facilitator, and design researcher. Her work has focused on advancing economic justice locally, including through an organization she founded to build support and community for small business owners, freelancers, and other independent workers in Chicago.

What's your superpower as a design researcher?
Listening intently.

Why do you like focusing on research?
I’m a super curious person, and I get my energy from having deep conversations. I love digging into people’s big, hairy problems, but also their seemingly mundane, every day experiences and routines. Zooming in on the little things often leads to big insights. Sometimes it'll be a remark they make at the end of a long conversation, and you'll ask about it, follow up, and then you find out some crucial extra details that can unlock more depth.

What's one thing people wouldn't know about you from your LinkedIn profile?
I’ve been picking back up a lot of old hobbies from my childhood, like painting and playing the keyboard, and I’m loving the feeling of being a “beginner” again.

When you were a kid, what was your dream job?
I was a kid who loved going to school, so I always wanted to be a teacher when I grew up!

What's one thing you'd like to accomplish professionally before you retire?
I don’t know that I can point to any one thing. I hope to explore a lot of different careers and ways of working throughout my life, but I would actually love to have a phase of my career where I teach. I think that sharing knowledge and learning from each other is one of the main reasons we’re on this planet.

Why this team and role?
I’m incredibly grateful to begin my work as a design researcher with Further Faster, and I’m particularly excited to be working with a team that approaches building new businesses and technologies with an equity-lens. Digging into the design research practice will be an opportunity to leverage listening and empathy to help founders build successful products.