I've worked as a creative director, designer and strategist for quite a long time. The thing I love most about my design work is learning about the lives, needs and behavior of real people and creating better solutions to things they really care about. My clients span a wide range of industries and subject matter, such as banking, hospitality, technology, consumer products or NGOs. My projects involve branding and marketing; designing new products, services and environments; or even a new system and process for getting stuff done. My clients' businesses are more successful when their customers have great experiences. So basically, I help with that.
My career in the communication arts and experiential design can be traced back to my time as a muscian in Los Angeles, as a theatrical set designer and builder in Seattle, and growing up on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology surrounded by my dad's photographic invention.
Outside of work, I love to hike, ride bikes and pursue new adventures and stories that interest me. In 2017, for example, I've been learning about and documenting the impact of ISIS on civilian life and humanitarian work in Iraq (see Recovering Iraq). And in 2013, I spent five months hiking 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (see 2600 Miles on the PCT), resulting in a viral video and unexpected media attention.
My extended family is mostly from Hungary and I hold dual USA and Hungarian (EU) citizenship. Though born and raised in upstate New York and having lived in great cities like Austin, Chicago, San Francisco and Paris, I will always consider the Pacific Northwest home.
Growing up, my sister and I had a university as a playground, which brought some interesting people and experiences into our lives. Some of my fondest memories growing up in the Northeast included the many canoe trips dad would take us on—down the Moose River to James Bay, Ontario, over Skinners Falls on the Delaware, and of course, Algonquin Park. There were even a couple cross country drives in an earnest, green Pinto wagon. No doubt, I got the bug a long time ago and have been perfecting the art of the epic road trip adventure ever since.
My father, Prof. Andrew Davidhazy, headed the Photographic Imaging and Technology program at RIT for 40+ years. My mother, Lucille, was a great hostess and sun worshipper who lived her life out peacefully in Florida, where there was always plenty of it. My sister, Jennifer, lives in the Bay Area with her family, while my brother, Cameron, is a DJ in Brooklyn. Dad and Sue are spending their golden years sailing and sipping Manhattans.
Though originally from Hungary, my paternal grandparents (nagymami and nagypapi) lived in Seattle when I was young. We would visit there most summers. Captain Andy was a naval architect and would often take me sailing aboard the beloved Adria. It was my grandmother, Gabriella, and teaching pro, aunt Minka, that taught and encouraged me to play tennis. I took my game very seriously back then and still try to remain competitive as the years accumluate. On my mom's side, it was Homer and June who brought a family full of warmth and dysfunction together around a pale yellow cottage with a screened-in patio on Lake Ontario. I was a master fisherman of minnows.
This video is from a keynote presentation I gave at the BioComm conference in June 2018 to an audience of photographers and communication designers. I told a personal story about how my experiences and use of empathetic design thinking have impacted my work and life. Told in three acts about observation, transformation and inspiration. (roughly 12, 14 and 20 minutes in length respectively)