Dana Steffe grew up in the Great Lakes State where she spent her childhood catching bugs, climbing trees, and playing baseball with the neighborhood kids. She moved to San Francisco when she was 19 to pursue a career in graphic design. Steffe graduated from the Academy of Art University with a BFA in Computer Arts New Media. She participated in John Bielenberg's experimental design program Project M in 2007, where she and seven other designers created a newsprint piece addressing water rights in America. The project has so far raised more than $40,000, connecting numerous people in Hale County, Alabama to clean water. While attending school, Steffe interned at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where she worked on the Olafur Eliasson interactive education website and at Language in Common, a communications design studio where she helped design Written on the City, a book about message graffiti. Steffe is currently working at Cuban Council, the award-winning design firm based in San Francisco and New York City, where she spends her days playing with ideas, big and small.
In this economic downturn, name one thing you have done to weather the tough times. I started baking my own bread.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be? An inventor. Or an architect. Or perhaps a storm chaser.
What's the one thing ALWAYS in your bag that you never leave home without? Chapstick. Or my bus pass. Both induce minor episodes when forgotten.
If you could spend 15 minutes talking to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? Bonnie Parker. Because of her defiance of social roles, an all around interest in the great depression and the thrill of a good bank robbery.
If you could work for anyone, a client or on a project, what would it be? I would love to one day work with Stefan Sagmeister. He inspires me to ignore boundaries, step away from the computer and as the great John Bielenberg would say, carry a general "think wrong" attitude.
ONE THING I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS Coffee
READING Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot D íaz.
FAVORITE TV SHOWS
Six Feet Under. Hands down.
Edward Scissor-hands. Or Best in Show. But that might just be because I'm a sucker for neurotic pet owners.
FAVORITE MUSIC, BAND, SONG
Popo. Their muzak-esque, video-game inspired, Japanese charm encourages concentration and a good work ethic like no caffeinated beverage ever could.
STRENGTH & WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER
NEW YEARS' RESOLUTIONS
To learn a new skill or trade every month. Currently on the list: upholstery, taxidermy, felting, furniture making, millinery and the art of Injera bread.