How Childhood Passions Lead to Design and Technology Career - Jon Kolko

In Chapter 3 of 17 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, designer and educator Jon Kolko shares the stories behind his childhood interests in art and technology. Early studio art ceramics work pushes Kolko to be creative. As a child, Kolko plays with early Internet computers to call pirate bulletin boards and hack RIT password files. Collectively, these shape Kolko's education, leading him to Carnegie Mellon University and catapulting him into his career. Kolko is the executive director of design strategy at venture accelerator, Thinktiv ( He is the founder and director of the Austin School for Design ( Previously, he worked at frog design and was a professor of Interactive and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has authored multiple books on design. Kolko earned his Masters in Human Computer Interaction (MHI) and BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.