Julia Sorzano /
Julia is a unique hybrid of art and science. At Dartmouth College she earned degrees in Biology and Studio Art. “I needed both to stay in balance,” she says. “Each activity helped me understand the other better.” From there she competed around the globe as a world-class kayaker, representing the US in two Olympic Games as an alternate. Afterward, as an industrial design student at Art Center College in Pasadena, CA, Julia had two epiphanies. First was the wood shop, where she became a maker. And next was human factors, where she became a sense-maker. “Studying users made me feel whole, like biology and studio art fused together.”
At Peer Insight, Julia is continuing a decade-plus career in design research that began with IDEO, Continuum, and Philips Design. Her clients have included Procter & Gamble, Abbott Laboratories, Capital One, and Home Depot. She has received design awards from Business Week and ID Magazine and has had her design work featured at the Consumer Electronics Show and in The New York Times Magazine. Despite the high aesthetic honors for these projects, “I still see myself as an ambassador for the user, first and foremost.”
What I love
What inspires me
My family, a challenge, always learning something new, good design, nature, super-human achievements, being the best I can be, and finding solutions/problem solving.
A favorite moment at Peer Insight
I was nine months pregnant with my first child and we were very close to the end of a PI project I was determined to see through to the end. The whole PI project team not only came to my house (we live about 35min from PI Headquarters) for some living room, project sense-making but they came with full tanks of gas in case I needed to be whisked away to the hospital before my husband could get home. I'm so blessed to call such caring and thoughtful colleagues family.