I’m Alex, a design manager at Google in New York City. Over the last two decades, I have co-founded a number of start-ups including Classroom Salon, Macromicro, Skale, and a management consultancy called Wilcox Williams. At Macromicro, our team received an SAP Pinnacle Award in 2016 and was named one of the most innovative startups in Europe at HR Tech 2013.
For more than ten years, I was a professor of design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 2009 to 2017, I was a faculty member in the School of Design, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Human-Computer Interaction Institute. I spent one year visiting at the Tepper School of Business.
I have taught studio courses, research methods, and design theory rooted in the context of systems and human experience. My research received grant funding from the National Science Foundation, Gates Foundation, Google, Heinz Endowments, and others.
For part of my time at Carnegie Mellon, I was based in Doha, Qatar where I headed an undergraduate track that blended design, architecture, tech, and the humanities at the university’s groundbreaking Middle East campus.
I’m a generalist. Early on, I was influenced by the Macintosh, Hypercard, Jobs, Ive, and Kare. It led me to study information and industrial design, and later combine those interests with rhetoric, interaction, and service design at Carnegie Mellon. I studied under Buchanan, Boyarski, Evenson, and Kaufer, and graduated from the School of Design and Department of English.
For fun, I illustrate maps, paint landscapes, and make photos. I’m from New York’s Hudson Valley and live in Cold Spring.
“It appealed to me because it felt like a startup brought to higher education. The students loved design and architecture because I made it relevant to them; they were designing and redesigning their country overnight.”
“We designers get cast as magicians and unicorns which is a bit silly; great designers solve problems in novel ways because of their diverse experiences. Buckminster Fuller once said, ‘I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.’”
The New Yorker; New York Times T-Magazine; New York Post; Creative Review; Al Jazeera English; Visual Complexity; Martha’s Vineyard Magazine; Highlands Current; Dwell Magazine; Table Magazine; Pop City Pittsburgh; ACM SIGCHI Conference 2015; Campus Technology; Computer History Museum “Deus Ex Machina”; Change Ahead: How Research and Design are Transforming Business Strategy; Strange Maps; Journal of Business and Technical Communication; Changing Qatar: Culture, Citizenship, and Rapid Modernization
United Nations ITU Telecom World 2014; IxDA Interaction 2016 Helsinki; Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT; Washington University in St. Louis; University of Rochester; University of Minnesota; Virginia Commonwealth University; Texas A&M Liberal Arts International Conference 2016; University of Louisville Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition 2008; Bentley University’s Boston Service Jam 2014; Pecha Kutcha Doha 2014; mathaf: arab museum of modern art; Cambridge Center for Adult Education; Vodafone Qatar; RasGas Managing Change 2015; GE: Going to GEMBA 2021; Future Branches Conference 2021
Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Rackspace, GE Middle East, UPMC, Microsoft, Motorola, Highmark Health, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aspen Institute, Keystone Global Consulting, Center for Strategic & International Studies, H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Embassy of Japan in Qatar, Embassy of India in Qatar, mathaf: arab museum of modern art, ThoughtForm Design, Fitwits, Printforia
Yale School of Management Program in Leadership and Management (2019). Founded and led executive education in design thinking at Tepper School of Business (2012–16). Local Leader (2018–2021) and Advisory Board (2021–), IxDA New York City; Co-Founder, IxDA Doha (2013–2016).
Method, Apparatus, and Computer-Readable Medium for Ranking Messages in a Social Network Based on a Transactional Virtual Currency (2017). System and Methods for Discovering Relationships, Communities, and Knowledge Assets of an Organization through Visual and Interactive Media (2012). Media Annotation Visualization Tools and Techniques, and an Aggregate-Behavior Visualization System Utilizing Such Tools and Techniques (2011)
IxDA Education Summit (2015–17), IxDA Interaction Awards (2015–18), CMU Undergraduate Conference in Information Systems (2016), Tepper School of Business Startup Weekend (2009–12), Ibtikar Information Systems Competition (2009–11), US Embassy Qatar Startup Weekend (2013)
Village of Cold Spring (NY) Chamber of Commerce; Town of Philipstown (NY) Comprehensive Plan 2030 Oversight Committee; Board of Directors, Gayloon Associates, Aquinnah (MA)
Winner, SAP Sapphire Pinnacle Award for Application Development (2016). Nominee, Most Innovative Technology Startup in Europe, HR Tech Amsterdam (2013). Finalist for the Pittsburgh Create Festival (2017), Best of the Creative Industries Interactive Category.