Building world-class design organizations is our mission.
Kotori founder
Joel den Engelsen
Over the past few decades, design has moved from being a misunderstood “nice-to-have” to earning a place at the leadership table. As design has risen in the business world, so too have user expectations. Achieving design maturity is now essential for brands aiming to drive change and make a meaningful impact.

Organizations that embrace design gain a distinct advantage—they shape culture, define categories, secure funding, and lead market segments, all while positively influencing the world around us. They lead where others follow.

At Kotori, our mission is to empower design-led organizations to innovate and gain a competitive edge. In service of this, we focus on three key areas: team structure, talent acquisition, and leadership development. With over two decades of experience, we help brands understand their unique challenges and opportunities, enabling them to stay ahead through the power of design.

From iconic brands to emerging startups, we work globally across scales of business and levels of design maturity. Our goal is to help our clients achieve design excellence through team structure, talent, and leadership allowing them to rise above the competition. Let us help you do the same.
Kotori is guided by principles that empower us to help design-led organizations reach their full potential.

Guiding  Principles


Engage with impact

Delivering value, insight, and impact enables our clients to transition from category challengers to category leaders.


Lead with integrity

Taking the high road, operating transparently, and leading with integrity are at the core of all Kotori engagements.


Act holistically

Adopting a wider aperture leads to better decision making and helps drive positive results with our clients.


Work as one

Working as one integrated team with our clients delivers outcomes and opportunities that everyone can be proud of.

Enjoy the benefits of a partner with over decades of global experience at the crossroads of design, innovation, and leadership in your corner.

Our Experience = Your Advantage


25 yrs in the making

Kotori draws on a depth of design and leadership experience spanning decades. Our experience allows us to deliver value and strategic insight were you need it most.


Walking the walk

Our insights come from first hand experience as designers, innovators, leaders, and founders. We know your journey, because we've walked the path your on.


Startup → enterprise

From nimble start-ups to globally distributed UX/UI design teams, our experience spans the spectrum, allowing Kotori to adapt to each unique challenge and deliver bespoke solutions.


Global perspective

We've built and led successful design and innovation teams in the Bay Area, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Delhi, and beyond. We can help you do the same.

From founder-led startups, and venture-funded scale-ups to established market leaders. We partner with those creating tomorrow.

We Work With



We provide advisory services to startups, helping to hire foundational team members and establish team structures and roles. Tomorrow's success is built on today's foundations.



We deliver insights and advisory services to scale-ups that have achieved product-market fit and are ready to scale, lead, and evolve their design practices for the next growth stage.



We assist market leaders in cultivating a culture of innovation while navigating the complexities of global scaling, ensuring they remain competitive in dynamic markets.