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50 Most Influential Designers in America
United States of Design 2011

Co.Design 50 Interactive

  • Ed Tufte
  • Ben Fry
  • Eric Rodenbeck
  • Ji Lee
  • Joe Rospars
  • Robert Wong
  • Khoi Vinh
  • Aza Raskin
  • Nicholas Felton
  • Duane King<br />& Ian Coyle
  • Jake Barton
  • Lisa Strausfeld
  • David Butler
  • Stefan Sagmeister
  • John Maeda
  • Scott Dadich
  • Michael Rock
  • Jonathan Hoefler &<br />Tobias Frere-Jones
  • Fabien Baron
  • Fred Woodward
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Alexander Wang
  • Phillip Lim
  • Paola Antonelli
  • James Corner
  • Kelly Wearstler
  • Stephen Alesch &<br />Robin Standefer
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh
  • Teddy Cruz
  • Frank Gehry
  • Michael Maltzan
  • Jeanne Gang
  • Steven Holl
  • Kathleen<br />Brandenburg
  • Carlo Ratti
  • Natalie Jeremijenko
  • Michael Graves
  • Mauro Porcini
  • Bill Moggridge
  • Scott Wilson
  • Jonathan Ive
  • Tinker Hatfield
  • Yves Béhar
  • David Kelley
  • Chris Bangle
  • Burt Rutan
  • J Mays

A godfather of information design and literally wrote the discipline's bibles.

Fry cocreated Processing, the programming language behind today's best data-visualization projects.

Eric Rodenbeck founded Stamen, a data-visualization firm that mapped American military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan for CNN.

A creative director at Facebook, he commands more eyeballs than any designer alive.

Rospars, creative director at Blue State Digital, helped propel Barack Obama into office in 2008.

Head of Google Creative Lab and markets everything from Chrome to Google Docs.

Khoi Vinh oversaw many of's best interactive experiments.

Aza Raskin left Mozilla to found the startup Massive Health, which aims to fix America's health-care mess with smart, simple user interfaces.

Felton's witty "Annual Reports" plotted his life in infographics; Facebook noticed (and hired) him.

King and Coyle create websites that stretch the medium's possibilities.

Founder of Local Projects, designs interactive websites and environments, most notably for the 9/11 memorial and museum.

Created novel interfaces for the $100 XO laptop and the Litl Webbook.

David Butler made design part of Coke's modern DNA.

Infamous for cutting letters into his skin, he has become a creativity guru.

A path-breaking designer and programmer and is president of RISD.

Wired's former creative director, now oversees Conde Nast's iPad and digital editions.

Michael Rock's firm 2x4 brings a cool sensibility to its work for Prada, Malin+Goetz, and Nike.

Hoefler and Frere-Jones's typefaces—for everyone from the New York Jets to The New York Times—pervade our culture.

Designer of Madonna's book Sex, later defined fashion at Harper's Bazaar, Interview, and Calvin Klein

Design director at GQ and is the most influential magazine designer of the past 25 years.

Jacobs's massive sales have not diminished his insider cool.

Alexander Wang turned sweatshirts and lounge pants into high fashion.

Lim has been the most aggressive empire builder of his generation, and his clothes are both elegant and affordable.

MoMA's design curator, is a quirky tastemaker and articulate advocate.

Corner helped create New York's High Line, the most acclaimed public park in recent memory.

Kelly Wearstler's provocative, 1970s-inspired interiors defined a trend toward wacky chic.

Alesch and Standefer, the duo behind Roman & Williams, did the interior of New York's Ace Hotel and set the standard for the worldwide haute-lodge trend.

Van Valkenburgh's green spaces include Brooklyn Bridge Park and, soon, one for St. Louis's Gateway Arch.

Uses U.S.-Mexican border towns as new models for urban development

His Guggenheim Bilbao museum changed architectural norms and led to new software for designing hypercomplex structures.

Maltzan's small projects—houses and community centers—have earned him big-time museum commissions.

Gang's Aqua skyscraper, in Chicago, is the world's tallest designed by a woman.

His standout recent work includes a horizontal skyscraper in China.

Brandenburg, head of the firm IA Collaborative, is a guru of user-focused design.

Runs MIT's SENSEable City Lab, which has created a hybrid electric bike wheel and heads-up driving displays.

Explores the limits of technology with art projects including robot dogs that report on environmental conditions.

Has revamped everything from teapots for Target to products for the disabled.

Mauro Porcini used design to reinvent 3M's innovation process.

Designed the first laptop computer and now heads the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Scott Wilson's iPod Nano wristband raised nearly $1 million from Kickstarter and pushed countless designers toward entrepreneurism.

Jonathan Ive's designs set Apple along a path to iDomination.

Hatfield's iconic shoe designs helped turn Nike into a footwear powerhouse.

BÉhar's designs—from the Peel Universal Remote to Jawbone's Bluetooth headset—are a mainstay of Silicon Valley startups.

Is a founder of Ideo and Stanford's; he's also a father of design thinking.

Bangle's controversial flared designs made BMW a sales monster.

Rutan's X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne launched space tourism.

Ford's chief designer. Created the 1994 New Beetle, the Ford GT, and the Land Rover LR3/Discovery.

Co.Design's influence matrix tracks designers from the virtual (websites and information) to the physical (cars and even spaceships). Thinkers wield influence through writing and leadership, while makers exert it through their work.

Infographic by Kristina Dimatteo

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