Born to Amuse and Inspire: Jean Aw of Notcot

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a campaign for Gap that features profiles of other design bloggers. The interviews are an extension of Gap’s Born To… Campaign, which is about pursuing your passion. As you may have noticed, I’m into that. You can find out more about the campaign on the Facebook page here. For completists, the whole set of interviews is over here.

This week’s interview is with Jean Aw, designer and founder of NOTCOT, a network of collaborative design sites with an emphasis on smart ideas. She has a master’s in User Experience Design, so NOTCOT doubles as Jean’s design consultancy.

Jean and I met about a year ago at the CM Summit in San Francisco. As you can see from her self-styled photo above, she’s a little camera shy, but you may recognize her from a recent appearance in Lucky Magazine.


Jean grew up in Los Angeles, where she’s currently based, and her attraction to variety helped her shape a career that keeps her life flexible.

“The best thing about my life right now is that no day is typical,” she says. “Perhaps thats the reason I’ve been able to do this so long! I could be roadtripping for hours, flying off somewhere, tethered to my wifi, meeting people I’ve admired over drinks, shopping, looking silly photographing products on my pool table, bouncing between galleries… you get the idea.”

Jean says her fascination with design may be genetic. “I think it has just always been a part of my life,” she says. “Maybe I can blame my mom for impressing her good taste on me at such a young age.”

And the girl does have taste, my friends. In just the last few weeks, Jean has me coveting a Nervous System Ring, a new iPhone Case, and any number of prints by Anthony Burrill.

So what else does Jean have an eye on right now? Let’s have a look.

Jean’s Current Inspirations


Pie Pops!
Bite-sized pie on a stick.


Super Cute Ghosts

Halloween is sneaking up.


Chroma Hash Password Visualizations

A visual password indicator that helps you see if your password confirmation matches the original entry.


Porject Squadt’s Nozzell s2

Cute vinyl figures.



Fashioned from broken skateboard decks.

The Longest Way 1.0 – one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.

The Longest Way 1.0

A time lapse film of a guy growing a beard over the course of a year while he’s on a trek.

Favorite Artists and Designers


Audrey Kawasaki


Tord Boontje


Chris Kabel

Thanks, Jean. We’re keeping our eyes on you. You know just where to take them.

8 thoughts on “Born to Amuse and Inspire: Jean Aw of Notcot

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