Get to Know One of Us: Alibaster McDonald, Research Lead

 Ben Speckmann

Go beyond the Linkedin bio to get to know One of Us

One: What do you tell people you do?

Alibaster: I do research that helps identify the needs of a client’s business and their audience to make sure the things we design aren’t just pretty, they’re strategic and solve problems. I also like to say that I’m a “design detective.”

One: What did you do before you arrived?

Alibaster: I was a research strategist at Firebelly Design, and before that, I was in business school getting an MBA in marketing.

One: What do you bring to One Design beyond your sweet skills?

Alibaster: A lot of passion and experience working on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Also, Pee-Wee and Large Marge—the sweet, fat chihuahuas that my wife and I rescued.

One: It's 11 a.m. on a Sunday. What are you doing?

Alibaster: I’m probably making a big brunch or kneading bread dough. Cooking is definitely my favorite way to relax and I’ve been using all this quran-time to step up my baking skills (cliché, but true).

One: What's a good book you've read recently?

Alibaster: The best fiction I’ve read in a while was A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I really loved how each chapter was told through the eyes of a different character and the ways that she wove all of their different stories together.

One: Settle the debate—what's the best flavor of La Croix?

Alibaster: Mango. Obviously.

One: What music do you gravitate towards when you have to be extra productive?

Alibaster: I listen to a lot of Tropicália artists like Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso. Tropicália was this incredible movement in the 1960s that blended psychedelic music with more traditional Brazilian sounds like bossa nova.

One: What is the first CD or album you ever purchased?

Alibaster: The Cure’s Mixed Up. It was a bad choice, tbh—I still love The Cure, so it wasn’t a total miss—but I have no clue why I decided to get a compilation of mixes over everything else in their huge catalog.

One: How do you take your coffee?

Alibaster: I’ve been trying to kick my coffee habit for a couple of years unsuccessfully, but for now at least I take it strong with a little cream.

One: Would you rather be able to teleport or travel through time? Why?

Alibaster: That’s easy: travel through time. I’d love to go back and get to see my favorite bands live, The Velvet Underground and Nirvana in particular.

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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