About Emily

I’m Emily Cannon (they/them) and I’m a lifelong resident of the West Coast of the United States. I came of age with the Internet and feel comfortable connecting and collaborating online.

At home, I’m a cook. I’m no pro, but I pride myself on my ability to put together a satisfying meal. It’s something I’ve spent my entire life learning how to do, and it informs how I think about everything, including design.

Cooking takes understanding techniques and tools as well as ingredients. Knowing how to use what you have and how to plan ahead to have what you need. It’s following a recipe and it’s making changes along the way that work for your situation. I can whip up a fast-and-easy lunch for one and plan an elaborate multi-course holiday meal for a crowd (I’ve planned Thanksgiving menus in Airtable before). There’s a budgeting component, not only in terms of money but time. There’s teamwork, sometimes. 

When it comes to the process of cooking itself, few tasks are more satisfying than mise en place—having all the components chopped and measured and ready to go. I’m experienced enough that I can easily improvise a recipe or a substitution, but I research, too. I watch cooking shows and read recipes I might never replicate, but I learn something new anyway—a process, an ingredient, a combination I never thought of.

And I love sharing this knowledge with others. I’m the friend people will text when they want to know what to do with a vegetable they picked up at the farmers’ market. I can translate what works for me into something that might work for someone else by letting them explain their preferences and constraints. I enjoy bouncing ideas off people and coming up with something new to try.

The result of this process is something fundamental, necessary for survival, but also a source of joy. To me, a well-executed design offers a similar kind of satisfaction as a successful home-cooked meal. It involves experience and skill on the part of the designer, but also the ability to listen and understand what’s truly needed in a given use case. A designer has to be able to improvise and work within constraints while still producing a quality result. That takes organization, collaboration, and problem-solving.

In the end, we all gotta eat.

Map-style diagram of Emily's education and work experiences