Michael Saunders

“As a DSD Design Analyst we work to provide innovative solutions for a diverse collection of clients through collaboration and a series of different tools and techniques, all while working to build our own knowledge and expertise within the field.”

San Francisco, California

Years of Service
DSD Cohort 2, 2 years of industry experience

Carleton University; Industrial Design; Bachelor of Industrial Design

Michael’s passion for design comes from his innate interest in user experience and the ability to dig deeper into problems to discover untold stories. He strongly believes in using design thinking as a tool for innovation and believes that it can be applied to many different fields outside of design. Michael’s background in Industrial Design left him with a great understanding of user-centric design and the power of the collective mind to innovate and succeed.

As someone who loves being surrounded by people, he is thoroughly enjoying being a part of the Gensler team, working alongside a group of like-minded, creative and curious people with the goal of creating better services, structures, products and overall experiences.

What about design strategy and the DSD Program appeals to you most?
I believe that design is not limited to tangible items and structures, but rather, involves engagement in the creative process in its many forms. Design strategy is exactly that. As a design strategist, you are able to take a problem and use creativity in conjunction with research and facts to determine solutions that incorporate as many aspects of a problem as possible. As an industrial designer, or an architect, your final outcome is already determined before you even start the project, as you know it’s going to be some sort of product or building. Whereas in design strategy, it could be an assortment of different solutions that incorporate both tangible items and structures as well as internal policies and procedures implemented over a period of time. I love the idea of being able to look at the problem as a whole and work on ways of creating the best solution that will have a lasting effect.

Briefly describe your current day-to-day.
My day-to-day can be drastically different on a daily basis. One day may be spent going from one meeting to another, spent off-site at a client’s office or parked in front of my computer working on a findings report. Regardless of the scenario, it is spent surrounded by people collaborating and sharing ideas.

What advice would you give someone applying to the DSD Program?
Have FUN with the application and emphasize what makes you different as an individual. If you come from a background that isn’t your typical architectural or interiors background, pinpoint that in your dossier and highlight how that makes you an asset to the DSD team and the Gensler team as a whole!

Describe the San Francisco office in 3 words or less?
Fun, Fulfilling, and (in)Formative!

Meet Our Team

Allie Bulgart | Erin Corcoran | Katie Costa | Agata Malkowski | Zsuzsi Nagy | David Raby-Pepin | Muhammad Saleh | Michael Saunders | Keely Vedanayagam | Allison Wong | Kayla Wong |