GRDS 701 Unit 2, Blog Entry 2: Jason Mayden

Since my last post was about being talented and cocky I wanted to share this talented designer’s humble journey. Jason Mayden is a former Jordan Brand designer and current Nike Digital Sports Innovation. Not only is he talented but his journey is truly inspirational. He is a great example of a dreamer how actually set out on a path to achieve what he wanted – to design Jordans. Despite growing up in the South Side of Chicago and no real guidance and resource to gain insight about design, Jason used what he had – a pencil and paper. I started on a similar path. I loved to sketch ideas for products and shoes, but my parents and guidance counselor said I should be an architect based on there understanding of the program. I knew there had to be more options so I continued to sketch. My new art teacher actually introduced me to Industrial Design. Like Jason I majored in ID and graphic design.

Reading interviews with him and watching him present during a TEDx conference you see he is driven and confident, but not cocky. He recognizes the people that got him where is today as well where he came from and is willing to share his journey. Can you imagine walking into a meeting to present a shoe design to Michael Jordan and then seeing that same design in shoe stores all over the world? That could really puff someone up – he just beams with pride. When asked what his biggest accomplishment is so far he does not talk about all the shoes he has designed or all the top athletes he has met and designed for. Instead he says it is all the people he was able to help getting into the industry, especially bringing design awareness to aspiring designer

From street violence to Stanford Business School to designing Nike

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