Q + A

Q+A: David Schwarz of Hush

HUSH is a DUMBO-based design agency that specializes in building recognition and creating value for some of the most innovative companies in the world, including Nike, American Express and The New York Times. We spoke with founding partner David Schwarz to learn more.

What are the origins of HUSH?

When we sat down to start the company, after a good deal of competitive analysis, we realized that every other agency looked and sounded relatively the same. Instead of trying to differentiate ourselves with a snappy mission statement or unconventional prose, we decided to focus on making our work amazing, and let it speak for itself. “HUSH” was a simple tribute to that — no need for spin, just a creative focus that shows through in our end product.

What do you do, and what makes you unique in your field?

We are a design agency. Our mission is to use design to build recognition, enact change, and create value for the most innovative companies in the world. And we do. Our unique expertise is in design that blends visual branding, space and technology. There’s a lot of design complexity at that intersection and those are the best challenges for us.

Why DUMBO?

We joined the cadre of some of the early movers to the neighborhood and then watched as things grew exponentially around us. We capitalized on this growth, partnering with neighborhood companies, talent, consultants and organizations. It’s been a great experience to build a business in this neighborhood and to feel some small sense of ownership around its success.

What are your favorite spots in DUMBO?

The Archway under the bridge is a fantastic demonstration of urban renewal. What was once a boarded up storage bin for the city has become one of the most unique architectural spaces around. We’ve been

here for nearly nine years, but I’m still surprised when I walk by and see so many people enjoying food, music, art and shade in that space. It’s an urban oasis.

Can you tell us a bit more about your upcoming project Fitness Loop? What does it represent for your group, and for the neighborhood?

The DUMBO Fitness Loop is a series of design-activated public spaces around the neighborhood, making them prime for physical activity. The project demonstrates how the practice of design – in any of its forms – can create value where there was once little. Design can transform through beauty, functionality, community, messaging, interaction, etc. Our goal was to use large-format environmental design as games, messaging and systems to incentivize physical fitness and transform urban space.