Inside the Tech Studio at Starrett-Lehigh: A View to the Future of Product Design


Here’s your chance to take a look behind the scenes of NYC’s leading technology and product design companies! Rather than a night with James Lipton from BRAVO’s Inside the Actors Studio, Jesse Haines – Google’s Director of Product Management – will be moderating Inside the ‘Tech’ Studio at Starrett-Lehigh, a View to the Future of Product Design.

A panel discussion featuring today’s tech and design leaders, Inside the Tech Studio will take place at Jack Studios at Starrett-Lehigh on Thursday, October 27th at 6pm (doors open at 5:30pm). RXR Realty has personally invited top executives from Starrett-Lehigh companies to attend this special event, and you are invited to join as well.

Inside the Tech Studio is sure to be talked about by industry leaders long after it is over, so save the date! For those in attendance, be sure to use the event-specific Snapchat geofilter and post pictures to various social platforms. Even if you can’t make it to the actual event, follow the event on social media @StarrettLehigh.

Relive the fun and check out the event highlights video here!


Jesse Haines – Director of Product Management, Google
Jesse leads the Google Goods team which designs and builds innovative accessories for Android and Nexus devices.  During her tenure at Google, Jesse has worked across several of the company’s emerging products and platforms. She led marketing for Google’s mobile advertising business globally. She was one of the founding members of the Google TV Ads team and led the Google Display Network and YouTube B2B marketing teams. Prior to joining Google, Ms. Haines was the vice president of brand development for Tommy Hilfiger’s womenswear division. She also worked as a consultant at Bain & Company. Jesse holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.  Jesse serves on the board of directors of Literacy Partners. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.

Alberto Mantilla – Founding Partner, Curve I.D.
Alberto was born in Colombia and graduated with a BA in Industrial Design from Javeriana University in 1983. He has over 27 years of experience in industrial design and is a founding partner of CURVE ID. Alberto’s work has been the subject of numerous design articles including TIME Magazine’s “Best Designs of the Year” article and has won many design awards including two prestigious IDEA awards, ID Magazine’s “Design Distinction” award and a Colombian Lapiz de Acero award. Alberto met Tony Baxter at Henry Dreyfuss Associates in the early 90’s and went on to form the now award winning New York based design studio Curve ID in 1994. He spent two years at Ford Motor Company where he trained designers, model makers and engineers how to use some of the first high end CAD tools.  Alberto has now expanded Curve ID into a full service industrial design and engineering consultancy of 12 designers and engineers. In 2002 Alberto started the design collective Mint Inc. with Tony, this was initially a creative outlet for their personal design explorations. The brand was based on evocative and clever design that has now sold over 500,000 products internationally, from infamous retailers such as the MOMA design store across the globe. In 2009 the Curve ID studio developed into three business units; Curve ID, Curve Engineering and Curve Manufacturing. This strategic move allows for greater flexibility in tailoring the Curve consultancy to the clients’ needs and business directions. Alberto’s passion is encouraging and promoting product design in his home country of Colombia, where he has an active role advising Government bodies and education institutions.

Ernesto Quinteros – Chief Design Officer, Johnson & Johnson
Ernesto is Chief Design Officer for Johnson & Johnson and leads the “J&J Design” organization based out of NYC. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of design innovation, product development and brand experience. His work has received international recognition in the areas of brand identity, packaging, product, environments and digital design by IDSA, I.D. magazine, Good Design, iF Hannover, iF China, Red Dot, Excellent Swedish Design, a UXAward and CES. Over his career, he has led teams to develop products and solutions in a wide range of categories; automotive, computing, consumer electronics, education, fashion, healthcare, home & lifestyle, music equipment and mobile device accessories. He has been awarded numerous patents. Ernesto joined Johnson & Johnson in 2014 and was tasked to integrate “design thinking” into all of the company’s business sectors (Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device), raising awareness and the application of people-centered design innovation. The J&J Design team is involved in programs that help the enterprise rethink some of its traditional product categories as well as define new ones in the emerging digital healthcare space. In addition to helping improve the lives of over one billion people who use J&J products every day, the design team is also focused on improving the experiences and productivity of J&J employees around the world, with solutions ranging from mobile applications to work environments. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Ernesto spent 13 years at Belkin in Los Angeles, where he served as their Chief Brand and Chief Design Officer, responsible for design, marketing and engineering. The design team developed products and solutions in partnership with brands such as Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Dell, HP, Samsung, Target and XM/Sirius. Belkin was ranked 4th in innovation by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) from 2009-2013 on their corporate design team list. The WeMo product line (home automation), won a UX/UI silver award in 2013 for its mobile app, and an innovation award in 2014 from ‘Fast Company’ in the “Internet of Things (IoT)” category. Ernesto received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design (ID) from California State University, Long Beach, and has a history of giving back to his profession and community. He has mentored students from his alma mater and served as part-time faculty in the Product Design Department at Art Center College of Design (ACCD) in Pasadena, Calif. In 2013, He was interviewed for ‘Breaking In’, a book focused on giving aspiring designers professional guidance on how to break into the industry.

Krystal Persaud – Director of Product Design & Product Management, littleBits
Krystal is an industrial designer and the Director of Product Design at littleBits, an award-winning platform of electronic building blocks that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. A graduate of the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design, Krystal is also the founder and managing member of the design collective Grouphug and teaches a course on product development processes & materials at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In her work, Krystal is committed to the idea that product design will revolutionize the fields of education, public health and sustainability, and is passionate about bridging gaps between industrial design and other disciplines.

Michael Delevante – Vice President of Product Development, OXO
Mike attended the Stern School of Business at NYU. After graduating with a BS in Marketing and Finance in 2002, Mike joined OXO, a company dedicated to providing innovative consumer products that make everyday living easier.  He started as a Marketing Assistant with the company’s Cleaning & Organization Product Development Team. Fourteen years later, he is now one of the VP’s of Product Development working on those categories of business as well as OXO’s Barware, Electrics, Baking and Hydration lines of product. He has always been and continues to be driven by the great energy and creativity of the people working at OXO. He remains amazed that despite the company’s impressive growth and achievement, it perpetually strives to accomplish more, be more efficient, and offer more to the consumer.

Edward Laganis – Director of Design Engineering, Smart Design
Ed is the head of Smart’s design engineering practice and has over 18 years of experience in product development, prototyping, and manufacturing of medical devices, consumer products, mobile wireless technologies, housewares, packaging, and automated manufacturing equipment. Ed has lead and managed various product development teams that leverage a multitude of disciplines and skills. He is also the owner of numerous utility and design patents across several industries.  He also regularly advises entrepreneurs – new and seasoned – on new product development processes, tools, and prototyping. When asked how he describes his role at Smart, in his own words, “Giving our clients a meaningful, feasible, and tangible product – quickly – is our primary goal.” Prior to arriving at Smart, Ed joined a small engineering start-up and helped grow it to a well-respected medical device and automation development house. He also ran its quality and engineering groups and oversaw their prototyping facility. More recently, Ed completed NYU’s Stern School of Business highly competitive executive MBA program with specializations in Leadership, Entrepreneurial and Business Innovation, and Finance.  He is also sits on the board of advisors for BWG Strategy and speaks regularly about emerging technologies and specializes on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Ed not only prides himself on being focused on the technical details but also in growing firms into highly profitable organizations through leadership, process, and technology improvements. His LinkedIn profile describes him best with the quote from Winston Churchill: “I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, I am the prod.” Ed has an MBA from New York University – Stern School of Business, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.