Shane Kohatsu


Thursday, February 14th, 7:00 – 9:30pm

Shane Kohatsu


My Five Pillars of Design

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Shane Kohatsu shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from Tokyo to Portland, from athlete to designer, and from punk to corporate leader.

Shane Kohatsu is the Product Innovation Director / Northstar Leader at Nike in Portland, Oregon. Redirecting his passion for competitive sports into a career in design, award-winning industrial designer Shane Kohatsu has found himself changing the face of sports not as an athlete, but as a designer helping athletes win through game-changing product innovation. Shane joined Nike over a decade ago where his work has driven fundamental change to the form and function of modern performance footwear.

Nike leans on innovation to lead the Swoosh into the future, to create game-changing experiences for athletes and to drive disruptive growth within the global market of sports. Since 2011, Nike’s footwear innovation effort has been organized by Northstar strategies to focus the company on what is most important:

VISION – define the future of Nike’s competitive-performance footwear with revolutionary product innovations and experiences for athletes and consumers. Paint the big picture of Nike’s role in their lives in the next decade.

STRATEGY – construct the innovation roadmap that will lead Nike to the Vision. Capture inputs from: Tier 1 Sport Categories (biz + athlete insights), Sport Science (clinical & field sciences), Brand Communication (value proposition), Brand Marketing (Olympics, World Cup, etc.), and Product Innovation (materials, manufacturing, and design).

CREATE – identify opportunities that will create disruptions in the marketplace with products and experiences that leverage Nike’s current strengths and exploit emerging shifts in technologies (science, digital, manufacturing). Create detailed projects briefs to bring clarity and focus for the large, multi-disciplinary teams and to direct the larger Nike Innovation organization towards the Vision.

PITCH – consistently communicate and sell-in the Vision and Strategy to key stakeholders, divisional business leadership, and the Nike executive board. Navigate the corporate matrix to draw support and resources to implement the Strategy.

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