Hi, I'm Maria

I design programs that help companies live their mission and attract the best creative talent.


Meaningful brands have outperformed the stock market by a staggering 206% between 2006 and 2016.

The Meaningful Brands study, conducted by the Havas Group


A strong culture attracts and keeps the best talent. A healthy culture starts with having a clear set of values and a defined mission that anchors the organization and provides a shared vision. To really create positive change within the organization, programs need to be designed that bring the mission to life in a tangible way.

If you’re interested in creating deeper connections between your brand or product and the people you want to engage - both internally and externally let’s talk.


72andSunny, (Adage US agency of the year 2013Fast Company most innovative companies 2015WNW 50 companies creatives would die to work for) was in a hyper-growth phase and needed to attract the best talent. 

What I delivered was 72U, a 12-week creative residency that discovered top global talent, and promised participants a chance to get hired at one of the best creative agencies in the world. I helped 72andSunny find and nurture the next generation of creative leaders - people they would not have had access to using traditional recruiting methods.

To date, the program has a 3% acceptance rate, and those hired by 72andSunny after the program have a 66% higher retention rate than average junior talent in the industry.

Besides becoming award-winning creative minds at 72andSunny, participants have gone on to become:  

  • Virtual Reality Designers for Leap Motion and Google
  • Founding Director of Next Art, an art and technology production company
  • Interaction Designer at Carnegie Mellon working with robotics
  • Product engineer at Robo3D, a 3D printer manufacturer
  • Filmmaker and UX Designer at Intel working with drones, vr and autonomous vehicles
  • Commercial Directors working for Vice, New York Times and Netflix
  • Hybrid Designer at Applied Minds
  • UX Designer at Sonos
  • ...And emotionally intelligent, creative problem-solvers at many other exceptional companies.

While at IDEO as a Creative Resident, I co-led a team, while managing the national research phase of the project. Within 9 weeks we delivered a customer experience for a telecommunication product; identified key insights, archetypes, opportunities to express the value proposition, a roadmap for implementation and a clickable prototype.


The work we made helped solidify 72andSunny as a top innovative company according to Fast Company

Here are some examples of the projects I led:

Award-winning documentaries on the topics of social media and death, automation, and Lolita fashion, that have screened at over 20 film festivals + A collaboration with Interscope Records to redesign the live music experience by turning each song on BØRNS’ EP Candy into a physical environment that the audience could interact with + A product based on sensory stimuli research, that lets you know if you’re in the ideal environment to create + A park  in Venice Beach that we designed and built, to foster community and host non-profit events + A partnership with River LA where we designed bracelets made with concrete from the demolished 6th street bridge, benefitting the non-profit + An interactive piece of art that creates original music, that we designed and built + An interactive music video using a faux Craigslist site as the interface for story-telling + Custom porcelain sculptures modeled after people’s risk-taking profile + A pop-up gallery and concept retail store exploring the democratization of luxury and the fetishization of food, starring the avocado.


Our work got people talking.


Opportunity attracts talent, a culture keeps talent.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as creating an unexpected moment of joy.