Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Design Santa Cruz – new Meetup hopes to facilitate inspiration

by Steven Rankin
Design Santa Cruz member


Photo by Bradley Allen

On January 15, 2014, a new Meetup, Design Santa Cruz, hosted their inaugural event at NextSpace in downtown Santa Cruz.

The new group and its organizer, Darren Odden, plan to gather designers from many practices in order to create a design community. Odden believes the group will fill a void in Santa Cruz. Design Santa Cruz is intended to be a forum for discussing design, sharing creative works, and facilitating inspiration.

“We tend to be so heads down and work in isolation, I think it would be great for us to share with each other what has been working, what is new in the world of design, and some of our specializations,” says Odden.

Odden’s professional background is in design and technology. He initially was involved primarily in design early on, however, his interest in games took him to technology as he began developing a computer game. He took that knowledge with him working for Santa Cruz based Borland International and later Compaq and Dell Computers in Texas. In 2001, he started a print and web company where he focused on design and brand management. In 2009, he returned to design after a 3 year stint working in backend application 28development. His renewed focus in design, along with his experience with user experience and system architecture has him focusing on building responsive web applications, while supporting print and brand management at Odden Creative Media.

The first meeting of the new Meetup was attended by 30+ members at NextSpace. As the group noshed, Darren briefly introduced his background and then proposed a framework for future engagements. He opened the floor to member introductions. A brief discussion on potential content for future meetings followed. The formal portion lasted a little better than an hour concluding with a networking session.

The inaugural meeting’s make-up was very diverse. Web designers were the largest subset, although still a minority of the whole. Other attendees included print designers, artists, web developers, lawyers working in IP, mobile designers, and even a landscape architect. There were a few non-designers too, as two recruiters hunted for creative talent.

The next Meetup event will be held Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 6-8 pm at NextSpace, 101 Cooper Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Newcomers are welcome. Please ring the door buzzer to the right of the front door. RSVP here:


Sara Isenberg curates and publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

Tagged , ,

Related Posts

Sign up for our free weekly email digest!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Now

Facebook Feed