Masters of Design: David Kelley

Founder and Chairman, IDEO

For more than a decade, organizations as far-ranging as Procter&Gamble, the Mayo Clinic, and NASA have sought inspiration from Ideo, the Palo Alto-based design shop that David Kelley launched in 1991 along with two other firms. Described by the firm as “part art, part science,” Ideo’s brainstorming method pushes the boundaries of traditional design practice, inviting the world at large–psychologists, engineers, and even a linguist–into the creative process. The result: a vast suite of breakthrough products that includes the first PC mouse for Apple, a mechanical whale for the film Free Willy, and the Palm V. After 31 years in the design business, Kelley is now taking on his greatest challenge: redesigning the way designers are educated. Stanford’s engineering school recently asked Kelley to codify his craft into a multidisciplinary design curriculum for its new “D school,” which he will head. Classes commence in the school’s new building in 2007.

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
  • William McDonough, Principal and founder, William McDonough + Partners
  • 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.