Kelly Costello

Kelly leads teams to frame problems, understand users and surrounding market participants, and identify arenas for new products, services and systems.


Kelly combines her formative grounding in anthropology and visual media to initially step back and observe end users like apes in the wild. This dispassionate objectivity uncovers veiled secrets of behaviors and bias. She then probes with an uncommon empathy, to unearth feelings, fears and underlying motivations.

As a leader and a coach, Kelly built and led Primary Research for Doblin. She guided ethnography for LantĂ©. Today she oversees teams of researchers to employ a wide array of methods – from camera studies and social media scans to surveillance video deconstruction – to help our clients translate human behaviors into new sources of growth.

Kelly serves as faculty in the Northwestern University Design Program at the Segal Design Institute. She serves as adjunct faculty for her alma mater, the IIT Institute of Design, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. And she serves as an advisor to student teams for Design for America at the Northwestern University chapter.

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