What I Learned As An IDEO Design Intern: Day 03

Bibiana Bauer
4 min readJun 1, 2018


It’s Important to Remember to Take Breaks

Photo by Jessi Pena on Unsplash

There’s always so much going on inside IDEO and the space is so nice and cozy (sorry no photos allowed, so you’ll just have to take my word for it) that it’s quite easy to get swept up in all the excitement. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have never felt more at home in a place which is not technically my home. The office itself is pretty fluid with people moving about, hopping between teams, and changing up their workspaces as they work on different projects, although most of us do have a more-or-less designated desk where we can sit and work. However, as anyone who has ever spent more than 10 minutes with me will know, I hate sitting in chairs.

This isn’t usually too much of a problem for me while I’m at school because the longest period of time when I’d be required to sit is about 90 minutes (our classes at CCA tend to run for 3 hrs, but with a break in the middle). But here at IDEO I haven’t had much excuse to leave my desk yet. So by the time 12 o’clock rolled around today, I was itching to get up and do something. So I took my lunch break to go for a walk down along the waterfront and hang out on one of the piers. My legs and brain thanked me and I was able to return to the office feeling physically refreshed and mentally rejuvenated.

Just Because You Work At IDEO Doesn’t Mean Your Life is Perfect


Yes, that is my bike. Yes, someone stole my rear wheel. Yes, it sucks…for me.

Disclosure: my bike wheel was not stolen anywhere near the IDEO offices

In situations like this it’s easy to feel like you’ve been betrayed by the world or that society has somehow wronged you. Just a few weeks ago I had my previous bike stolen which is why I bought this one. You can imagine my dismay upon finding that this new bicycle had also fallen victim to prying hands. But there wasn’t really much I could do about it, so I just sucked it up, saddled the rest of the bike across my shoulder, and started walking home.

As I walked, I couldn’t help but wonder “Why me? What did I ever do to deserve someone stealing my bike wheel?” To which my subconscious instantly replied, “Why them? What did that person ever do to deserve being in a situation where their ability to survive relied on stealing your bike wheel?” Checkmate.

While frustrating (because now I’ll have to go buy a new bike wheel—and it probably won’t match) and inconvenient (because I use biking as my primary mode of transportation), this experience was also humbling because it forced me to do something a lot of people in Silicon Valley don’t: check my privilege.

Take Advantage of Free Food

This is probably the closest thing you’ll ever get to me instagraming my food, so enjoy it — I did :)

I’ll be honest: in the three days that I’ve been at IDEO so far, I haven’t paid a single dime for any of the food I’ve eaten during business hours. Whether it’s a team celebrating a victory milestone, the office saying goodbye to a long-time employee, or just some small thing that somehow turned into a weekly tradition: food always seems to be the answer. And I’m not mad about it.

Heck, we’ve got an entire studio dedicated to just working on food design projects!