"In a world bursting with data and complexity and never enough time or tools to make sense of either, it’s a relief to find someone like Gong Szeto. A self-described “independent thinker who sits squarely on a four-legged stool of business, political economy, user experience, and technology,” GBN’s newest Network member is an information designer who specializes in making maps and meaning out of overwhelming data sets and complex subject matter. Want to see the entire financial crisis broken down visually? The global poverty problem sketched out on one blackboard? Need your financial traders to get better at seeing patterns within steady streams of market data? Call Szeto. You’ll be joining an impressive roster of companies who already have—including Sony, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Sirius-XM Radio, the New York Times, Dow Jones & Company, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Shiseido, Viacom, Barnes & Noble, and Sotheby’s.
At just 45, Szeto has already logged considerable miles in his efforts to help people find better ways to separate signal from noise through the visual maps and interfaces that he designs. Currently the principal of Gong Szeto Design Office and a fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College, he was previously the founder of the trendsetting interactive design firm i/o 360; chief creative officer at Rare Medium Inc., a company that develops technology solutions for corporate giants like Goldman Sachs; and director of design and product design at PEAK6 Investments LP, a $2 billion proprietary equity options trading firm, hedge fund, and financial services business incubator. While still in his 20s, he was counted among I.D. Magazine’s “Top 40 Innovators in the U.S. and Europe.” In this GBN interview, Szeto shares more about what he does, how he works, and why design is a critical skill for the 21st century."