WHO: Kyle Larkin
WHAT: Chapter President, AIGA Arizona
AND: Partner at Extra Small Design
Kyle Larkin is a partner at Extra Small Design, a husband-and-wife brand and web studio in Phoenix. He focuses on web design & front end development and loves pushing pixels and pulling shots of espresso. He also teaches classes in graphic design at Arizona State University, focusing on using digital tools to create good design. He loves sleep, gadgets, and a challenge.
Q: What made you want to join AIGA AZ Board of Directors?
A: About 5 years ago I had lunch with past Vice President Mark Dudlik. We talked about the local design community, design education, and the possibilities for the future. Later that year there was an opening for a new Education Director and Mark asked if I would be interested (I was a Lecturer at The Design School at ASU at the time). I saw the board evolving and thought it would be a great opportunity to engage with faculty from other design programs across the state. I later became VP to the wonderful Liz Magura, and now onto where I am today.
Q: Other life – what do you do outside of AIGA?
A: Outside of AIGA, I run Extra Small Design, a tiny studio here in Phoenix, with my amazing wife, Angela. We work with small businesses and nonprofits on everything from branding & illustration to web design & development. I also continue to teach as Adjunct Faculty in the Visual Communication Design program at ASU. Angela and I live in a mid-century work-in-progress home with our 4-year-old son and enjoy hosting dinners with friends whenever we can.
Q: What are you most excited about with this new position as President?
A: I’m most excited to be working with the rest of our board. I feel that we have some truly fantastic people that are all passionate about the Arizona design community. I personally hope that by empowering our board members and streamlining our internal processes, we can elevate the discussion happening around design and design’s role in our local communities. I’d like to expand our definition of design and continue building upon the strong calendar of events we’ve been developing over the past few years.
Q: What do you love most about the design/creative industry?
A: I love all aspects of design, from graphic design to architecture, industrial design, and beyond. At its core, good design is about making things better. It doesn’t matter if that’s visual communication, a toothbrush, or a building. I love working in an industry that’s constantly evolving and trying to improve itself. Some days it can feel daunting to keep up with the new trends, processes, and technologies, but that’s what makes each day and each project something new and exciting.
Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
A: I’ll nerd it up here. That would have to be anytime I’m able to sneak in some Zelda on the Nintendo Switch. If you want to double down, I’d probably have a glass of bourbon nearby.
Q: What is your wildest dream?
A: Hmmm…I don’t know if this is my wildest dream but I would love to see the northern lights from one of these glass-roofed igloos in Finland someday.
Q: What is one quirky thing that most people don’t know about you?
A: I’m originally from Rhode Island, and while that’s not quirky in itself, my incredibly strong accent returns whenever I’m really tired. If you’re curious, it sounds like a hybrid accent between Boston and New York.
Q: What was one of your childhood ambitions, and have you accomplished it?
A: I wish I was a little bit taller.
Q: Any advice for new/non-AIGA members?
A: Whether you’re a new member, old member, or not a member at all, get involved! We want to see you and hear from you.
If you see an event that interests you, don’t hesitate, just come join us!
If you see something missing that you wish we had in Arizona, let us know. Then come help us plan it. We’re constantly trying to grow and improve what we do.
One of the most rewarding parts of being on the board is seeing a successful event come together. An event that draws new people, as well as familiar faces. An event that elevates the level of design and discussion in Arizona. You don’t have to be on the board to be part of that. Just come out and engage.