Masters Of Design, Then And Now

Nine creative superstars have grown significantly since we began our annual design issue in 2004. catch up with a few.

J Mays

Last year, after 33 years in the auto industry, Mays retired as Ford’s chief creative officer. His reign was an eventful one, yielding best sellers such as the Fiesta and Mustang and concept vehicles like Atlas. His successor, Moray ­Callum, is Jaguar design director Ian Callum’s younger brother.


John Maeda

The visionary former Rhode Island School of Design president is now, in his own words, “a lone agent.” In January, he moved to Silicon Valley to become a design partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is hunting for startups that offer “design that radically disrupts business.”

Margareta van den Bosch

H&M’s design director pioneered the art of affordable haute couture. In 2008, at 66, she decided to slow down–barely. She transitioned into the role of creative adviser, focusing on the brand’s designer team-ups, which she started with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. This year’s big get: Alexander Wang.

Jochen Zeitz

Zeitz resurrected Puma and has since become a global do-gooder–rising to chief sustainability officer at Puma’s parent company, Kering (formerly PPR), then chairman of its sustainable development committee. He’s now partnering with Richard ­Branson to create a not-for-profit called the B Team.

Denis Weil

McDonald’s 13-year VP of concept and design left in June to devote himself to a very different pursuit: innovation in the social sector. He’s finishing a ­fellowship this fall at ­Sanergy, an initiative to improve Kenyan slums, and will then join the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Mary Barra

In January, the GM lifer became the company’s first female CEO. After only a few weeks on the job, GM began recalling millions of cars with faulty ignition switches–a decade after it knew about the deadly problem. Barra’s response, and the investigation, will likely define her time at the top.

Mauro Porcini

3M’s former lead designer is now the first chief design officer at PepsiCo. This year, in advance of the Super Bowl, the company released his revamped Doritos and Pepsi packaging.


Ben Silbermann

With roughly 20 million monthly visitors, Pinterest was declared the fastest-growing web service of all time in 2012. This year its numbers have almost ­tripled, and the site launched paid pins from a small group of advertisers, along with expanding to a total of 31 languages.


Chuck Jones
Former VP of global consumer design, Whirlpool; now chief design and research and development officer, Newell Rubbermaid.

What he said in 2005

Designers need to have a voice at the table. [But] if we don’t make our numbers this quarter, we don’t earn the right to do something [cool] the next time.

What he says in 2014

The inability of designers to speak the language [ of numbers ] was holding business leaders back. Now, young designers are engaging with business even at the university level.

Marcia Lausen
Cofounder, AIGA Design for Democracy

What she said in 2004

“Thinking that ‘design’ means ‘decoration,’ most election officials do not enlist professional designers in the development process.”

What she says in 2014

“Now there are federal guides to help county election officials design ballots, write instructions for voters, test ballots for usability, and create effective poll-worker materials.”

Tim Brown
CEO, Ideo

What he said in 2005

We need to spend more time making people conscious of design thinking–not because design is wondrous or magical, but simply because by focusing on it, we’ll make it better.

What he says in 2014

Nowadays, people are more conscious of design thinking everywhere. Like in Silicon Valley, there has been a shift in emphasis for new startups from technical innovation to design.