Aaron Dustin recently joined CIM as Chief Design Officer. Aaron has been a digital designer for over 25 years, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to CIM. He has been leading his own design agency for the past 4 years, helping companies shape their brand, product and user experience. Prior to that Aaron led the design function at Xero globally, where he established the internal brand design team, created a world class UX research team, and grew the Product Design team to 50+ staff.
Tell us about your role?
I’m the Chief Design Officer at CIM. I work across both Product Design and Brand design areas, as well as building out the design team.
Tell us a little about you?
I’m a design practitioner that has worked in brand/advertising and software fields for over 25 years. I’ve run many of my own businesses, and been in design leadership roles with some amazing software and creative companies. I wanted to be a painter or an architect and I still do printmaking and generative art to this day. I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
What is an interesting fact about yourself?
Here’s a couple of semi-interesting factoids:
1). My family introduced sliced bread to NZ, and went on worldwide tour with the original All Blacks team in 1905.
2). One of my designs forced the Prime Minister of New Zealand to change the law in parliament.
What motivated you to join CIM?
I was hoping to join forces with a group that had momentum, a real sense of purpose, and a genuine desire for design to be a significant part of the business. With CIM I found that and more - with the desire to address climate change in practical terms being one of the most compelling things I could think of working on.
Where are you coming from?
Former Head of Design at Xero, Creative Director at Saatchi.
What’s your one biggest career lesson?
A smaller one but nevertheless something I think has played a big part for me in recent years: in a data-driven world, it’s important to also trust your instincts (especially those earned through experience). We are still just human beings interpreting the data.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
I suspect it is that Design Leaders have all the answers. The reality is we pride ourselves on not having the answers, rather often trying to establish whether we are even asking the right question.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I have 3 young daughters who I love spending time with. Anything to do with water, engines. I consider motorbikes to be the best machine ever invented. I also can’t help landscaping if I get the time, even owning an excavator at home.
What does your morning routine look like?
Kids to school, and then ideally some creative studio time before meetings start.
What does success look like to you?
Creating products & brands that people love.
Words of wisdom you would give your younger self
Drink more water