All posts by deanna

King Cake fuels design

It’s that time of year again. The time when the grand ole king cake makes its way to the DesignLab-ers in DC.

Pause to salivate.

The tradition extends back to January 2007. Deanna’s mother so generously shipped the cake from her hometown of Baton Rouge so that our team could gain inspiration, if you will, from the savory sweetness of this sinful donut cake.

As seen below, our honorary Design Lab member, Mia, models her slice and magical baby-finding finding skills (for the third time). #3-peat

Naturally, there is a reason why this cake is critical to our design work and environment. So here goes. It promotes happiness and full bellies, which supposedly can trigger high levels of right-brain creative activity.

Who are we kidding? We do it because it is delicious and a great reason to congregate even for a few minutes.

Happy Mardi Gras, fellow designers and creative thinkers.

Anne shares insight on designing full-time for development at TEDxPhoenix.

AIGA 50 Winner: ROPS Posters

Congratulations to Carly! Check us out at AIGA 50 exhibit the Corcoran Gallery on April 25, 2012.



Thank you for another inspiring year. Your work and passion fuel our creativity.

The perfect dozen cupcakes from Charles.

Carly and her sewing machine, prepping for our winning display at the “Project Runway” themed Social Change breakfast



Designers LOVE here. As a collective valentine to the beleaguered company we love, our team decided to make handmade greetings with found materials. No templates, no plans. Just pure improv with whatever was in front of us. It was great working with our hands again—paper, thread, glue. Check out the wild assortment of cards here:


A field trip to the Goethe Institut to view German for Beginners exhibit. Recap by Stefanie O’Brien, Design Lab’s resident secret design spy of German origin.

Day trip to NYC for kick-off meeting at the UNDP.

Pondering the um, suggestive painting in Anne’s office.


On April 15, 2011, a beautiful cloudless morning in Washington, DC, the AED sign goes down. Design Lab rescues the “A” which now hangs on our wall.


The beautiful and delightful Anna Frances Ledet Saab is born. Stef in the secret furniture storage on the 3rd floor.

Our Shared History Timeline project: Crowd sourcing AED’s history with staff milestones.

Five room installations for the Legacy celebration in two days. Egads. Stef feeling the ’80s.

Golden moment: Jeff Koons typography via Party City.


Anne’s dad visits the studio and takes in DC views from the rooftop. Anna at 1 month channeling Maggie Simpson.

Mid-day rebus challenge answer: STEFANIE + O+BRIAN


Meliha and the Legacy Awards. More than 300 awards, lovingly assembled and framed.



Brian in Botswana: Filming the BORNUS video with Duane and the Golden Teens group in Gaborone.

Break in case of emergency: 240 calories x 50 servings. Thank you Tom and Memo.


Change of scenery at the FHI 360 Asia Pacific Innovation Summit, Hua Hin, Thailand. In love with our new FHI 360 APRO family already — Tony and Jackie (with Allegra Jordan of Innovation Abbey).

Mayo Center Innovation Conference, Rochester, MN

Brilliant minds and the loveliest assortment of hipsters and dandies at the Barcelona AGI.

Melanie gets hitched!

The best unproductive Skype meeting ever.

Spotted: Carpet snag man outside Shannon’s office


Anne at TEDxPhoenix talking about the Double Ds for Change.

Celebrating Meliha’s birthday with spongey sweet cakes from the local bakery.


Flurry of activity for TEDxDupontCircle viewing party of TEDxWomen.  The amazing women of Batala DC getting ready to go on stage.

Carly heads west to San Francisco for the HOW Interactive Design Conference and wins the HOWIDC Challenge!

Packed and ready to move to our temporary space as we wait for our new studio.

Pausing for a moody group picture by Holly Ladd.

Where’s Design Lab these days? Across the bridge, North Building, 11th floor, turn towards the double glass doors but don’t enter (that’s SMCC), then trek down the corridor…or just call us.

Temporary space. Permanent sandwich maker. #newnormal #familykitchen

And nothing less than an epic awe-inspiring double rainbow caps the year. So intense! (12/27/2011, 4:45pm, FHI 360 rooftop)