Masters of Design: Bob Porter

Executive Vice President, SSM Health Care

Five years ago, when confronted with the chaos of a hospital floor, Bob Porter, then the president of the SSM DePaul Health Center in St. Louis, called in the designers. Porter forged an unconventional alliance with the California design firm Ideo to redesign wards from a patient’s perspective: creating central kiosks for family members to find hospital information easily, streamlining staff communication processes, even redecorating patient rooms to make them feel less clinical and more personal. “Bob’s great insight was to apply design thinking and methods to a hospital,” says Ideo’s Jane Fulton Suri. His efforts have not only earned raves from patients, they have helped boost SSM’s bottom line. Over the past five years, DePaul has become the city’s fastest-growing hospital. “We’re only beginning to fundamentally reexamine how to create a humancentric approach to delivering health care,” Porter says.

Peak Performers: Four masters who are leading the world of design
Impact Players: Four high-impact projects that shaped the year in design–and the people who launched them
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  • Tom Ford , Former Creative Director, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent
  • Jonathan Ive, Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple Computer Inc.
  • Marcia Lausen, Founding member, AIGA Design for Democracy
Game Changers: The risk takers and agitators who are rewriting the rules
Collaborators: Champions who help make great design happen
Next Generation: Meet four rising stars who are charting the future
A Jury of Their Peers
Introducing 11 jurors–top leaders from universities, cultural institutions, and business–who helped us select our 20 Masters of Design.
Lessons From the Masters
These five ideas will help you incorporate design principles in your work — and better connect with customers and colleagues.