Tools of the trade: Lindsey Kujawski, Microsoft fashionista

Lindsey Kujawski has one of the most unusual jobs I have found at Microsoft so far. She’s been with the company for about 3 years and studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati. Internships at Puma and New Balance gave Lindsey a keen eye for fashion and trendwatching and that’s what she does today at Microsoft. Fashion trends? Yep….part of Lindsey’s job is monitoring the latest trends in the fashion, interior design and macro-social trends – I headed to Studio B to find out more.

After giving me some well judged feedback on my Mulberry bag, Lindsay explained to me that her role, and that of the team in which she works, is to design products that connect with people beyond the features and functionality. Technology is increasingly a part of people’s everyday lifestyle, and Lindsey works to create products that fit with people’s image- whether that’s their look or in their living room. On that basis I figured Lindsey’s Tools of the Trade would be interesting and she graciously agreed to share – despite being concerned that Next at Microsoft  was going a bit “Vogue”. So what does a Microsoft fashionista have in her bag?

Lindsey explained that as a designer the computer as her main tool and she and does much of her work digitally. But as a product designer, it takes a lot of analogue tools to create really thoughtful and crafted objects.


Clockwise from top left:

Seasonal Trend Books and Magazines: I’m always reading inspirational and reference material from around the world to keep my finger on the pulse of what consumers want and what’s coming up next. I study colors, products, fashion, interior, and social trends- anything that influences global lifestyle.

Pantone Fashion and Home Color Guide: This fan deck of colors allows me to have a starting point for a new color or material, it’s used daily at my desk and in the model shop. It’s corners are bent and it’s very well loved.

Material Samples and Experiments: Our design and engineering team is always exploring new material ideas, we have an on-going collection of samples and ideas that we can reference on new projects. I keep my favorites for the next season close at hand.

Sketchbook and Pencil: I’m never without a sketchpad or notebook, to capture my current to-do list or spontaneous brainstorms. This is essential.

Baggu Tote Bag: These reusable bags help me carry my project samples or my lunch from place to place. They fold up into a tiny square when not in use. I love these bags!

Pantone Mug (filled with coffee): This is Seattle! People here like to be caffeinated and I am no exception. Triple 12oz latte is my fuel of choice.

Microsoft Wireless Mouse 3500: My mouse of choice! …which should say something, because I’ve tried a lot of mice. This particular model is compact, comfortable, and the Blue Track tracking allows me to work everywhere-desk, couch, floor, etc. This is a new color for the Spring, Zinnia Pink, and it’s keeping my mood happy and bright.

Burts Bees Lip Gloss: Keeps the smile healthy even in the winter.

USB + charms: This USB stick has traveled around the world with me, sharing work and ideas. I make it easy to find in my bag by connecting a large plastic gem and a souvenir charm from Japan.

Metallic Ballet Flats: You may ask why shoes are listed as a tool. But these shoes, specifically flats and not heels, allow me to walk around the building and campus at top speed to collaborate with other groups and teams. Each day I race around, working in the design studio and models shop, and with marketing and engineers; sometimes we’re even out watching people use our products for research. The faster I walk, the more I can do and see. Not to mention that these copper flats are pretty stylish. Winking smile


So there you have it – Microsoft isn’t just geeks like me the gear of a resident fashionista. You can see more of Lindsey’s work in this short video with Kate Bailey.