Meet the illustrious judges of the 2019 Innovation by Design Awards

Judges hail from Nike, Slack, Adobe, Pinterest, MoMA, Pentagram, and more.

Meet the illustrious judges of the 2019 Innovation by Design Awards

UPDATE 5/17/19: The entry period is now closed. Check back in September to see the honorees. 


Welcome to the 2019 Innovation by Design Awards, the world’s most prestigious competition honoring the intersection of design and business. We’ve recruited an all-star cast of designers, executives, and thought leaders to judge the awards. Meet them below and stay tuned as we add even more judges before the competition’s deadline, May 17.

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Toru Akita


Toru Akita is the Chief Executive Officer of Muji USA, and the President of Muji Canada. Since joining parent company Ryohin Keikaku in 1998, he has over 20 years of experience with Muji and its overseas subsidiaries. He currently oversees the business development and expansion of Muji USA, and directs the management of operations for Muji Canada.


Gadi Amit


Gadi Amit is a San Francisco-based technology designer behind some of the most innovative and market-winning products created in the past two decades. Founder of technology design studio NewDealDesign, Amit leads a multidisciplinary team uniting people, culture, and technology to build joyful experiences for the world’s top brands and disruptors alike. Clients include Fitbit, Microsoft, Google, Herman Miller, Postmates, Comcast, and many more.


Gail Anderson

School of Visual Arts

Designer, educator, and writer Gail Anderson is the creative director at Visual Arts Press at the School of Visual Arts, where she has taught for over 25 years. Anderson is the recipient of the 2018 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 2008 AIGA Medal. She has co-authored 15 books with Steven Heller and is a partner at Anderson Newton Design.

Paola Antonelli

The Museum of Modern Art

Paola Antonelli joined the Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and is a senior curator in the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as MoMA’s founding director of Research & Development. She has curated numerous shows, lectured worldwide, and has served on several international architecture and design juries.


Dan Barasch


Dan Barasch the cofounder of the Lowline, where he leads the effort to build the world’s first underground park, and is the author of Ruin and Redemption in Architecture, which explores the magic of adaptive reuse design projects around the world. He has held leadership roles at Google, UNICEF, the 9/11 Survivors’ Fund, PopTech, and within New York City government. He began his career at the World Affairs Council, where he co-produced the weekly National Public Radio show “It’s Your World.”


Jake Barton

Local Projects

Jake Barton is principal and founder of Local Projects, a media and physical design firm that creates ground breaking experiences. Credits include landmark projects like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Legacy Museum. Having won every major award including the National Design Award, current work includes a new wing for the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem, a UNESCO world heritage site in Sydney, and all of the IBM Watson Experience Centers. Barton’s TED talk has nearly one million views, and he is on Fast Company‘s list of top 50 designers.

Scott Belsky


As Adobe’s chief product officer, Scott Belsky leads product management and engineering for Creative Cloud products and services. Scott is a cofounder of Behance, an investor in numerous startups, and has been an advisor on design and product management for leading companies and organizations, including Adidas, Pinterest, and Facebook. He is the author of two bestselling books, Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle. 


Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner

Studio Propolis

Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner are co-founders of Studio Propolis, a workshop based design studio in Nairobi, Kenya since 2005. As trained architects from the University of Edinburgh, they work across disciplines and scales from prototyping tableware to manufacturing furniture and designing buildings. Their workshop forms the core of their practice allowing designing through prototyping alongside production. They are equally comfortable making front doors for a Cathedral as they are designing products for Ikea.


Durell Coleman

DC Design

Durell Coleman is the founder and CEO of DC Design, a social impact strategy & design consultancy that uses Human-Centered Design to address our most pressing social challenges. In his journey as a designer, Coleman has consulted with governments, foundations, and other social impact organizations to shift entrenched systems toward paradigms that function better for everyone. He has worked to redesign aspects of the foster care system, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new educational models for the 21st century. He is the creator of Design the Future – an award-winning summer program that teaches high schoolers to design products for people with physical disabilities, the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, and is an expert in Multi-Stakeholder Human-Centered Design.

Matt Cottam


Matt Cottam is founder of Tellart, an international experience design studio exploring the intersection of storytelling and emerging technologies to create groundbreaking interactive experiences. Tellart’s projects range from near-future product/service invention and experiential marketing activations for global brands, to “in-world” game events for Hollywood film launches, to large-scale exhibitions for governments and NGOs. Many of their highly immersive, multisensory experiences unpack systemic challenges and propose preferable futures for humanity and the planet. Tellart is the recipient of the 2016 National Design Award for Interaction Design and their work is part of the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Cottam is a graduate of both Rhode Island School of Design and Umeå Institute of Design, where he went on to pioneer their Physical Computing and Design for Extreme Environments curricula as faculty. Since 2009 Matt has been teaching at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.


Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman

Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman are principals in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego, investigating issues of informal urbanization, civic infrastructure, and public culture. Merging theory and practice, and the fields of architecture and urbanism, political theory and urban policy, Cruz + Forman lead a variety of urban research agendas and civic/ public interventions in the San Diego-Tijuana border region and beyond. Their work has been exhibited widely in prestigious cultural venues across the world, including MoMA New York; YBCA, San Francisco; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; and the U.S. Pavilion in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Teddy Cruz is a professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. Fonna Forman is a professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego.


Katie Dill


Katie Dill is vice president of design at Lyft where she and her team are creating products and services to build the world’s best transportation to improve people’s lives by affecting positive change for the future of our cities. Before joining Lyft, as director of experience design at Airbnb, Dill oversaw the designers defining Airbnb’s digital products and services, successfully launched a company rebrand, scaled from 10 to 100, and established studios worldwide. Previously Dill was a partner at Greenstart Ventures, creative director at Frog Design and an instructor in CCA’s grad design program.

Ben Fry

Fathom Information Design

Ben Fry is principal of Fathom Information Design, a studio in Boston focused on understanding complicated data problems. Fry is a lecturer at MIT, has authored multiple books, and develops “Processing”–the programming environment he co-created with Casey Reas used by artists, engineers, scientists, and students all over the world since 2001. His work can be found in museums, feature films, research labs, and the portfolios of Fathom’s clients such as Nike, JPMorgan, DARPA, and National Geographic.


Phil Gilbert

International Business Machines

Phil Gilbert is general manager of design at IBM. He leads the rejuvenated IBM design program, establishing a modern standard for increasing the role of the arts in business— adding formally trained designers into IBM at an unprecedented scale, and re-skilling its global workforce in design thinking and agile practices. For this work, Gilbert has been inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Hall of Fame.


Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung launched his eponymous collection in February 2009 with a philosophy encompassing modern luxury, indelible style, and an astute sense of glamour. Gurung was born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After beginning his design career in New Delhi he moved to New York to finish his studies at Parsons The New School for Design. Upon graduating, Gurung spent two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams. Soon after, he was appointed design director at the iconic Bill Blass, a post he held for five years until launching his own collection, PRABAL GURUNG. A focus on quality and innovation has placed Gurung at the forefront of American fashion with designs worn by leading ladies including First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, to name a few. Notable accolades include the 2010 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner up, USA Network’s Character Approved Award recipient in 2011, named goodwill ambassador of Maiti Nepal, a finalist of the Cooper- Hewitt National Design Award, recipient of the 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear and was honored in 2015 with the inaugural Creativity Award from The Drawing Center. Gurung was the official 2013 designer collaborator for Target, launched a product collaboration with MAC Cosmetics in 2014, collaborated on a collection with TOMS to support Shikshya Foundation Nepal in 2016, launched a capsule with Lane Bryant in February 2017 and was named the Global Creative Director of Tasaki in September 2017.

Matt Ipcar

Blue State Digital

Matt Ipcar is the executive creative director at Blue State Digital and was a principal design leader for both Obama presidential campaigns. With a focus on design and user experience, Ipcar helps organizations find creative ways to connect with and inspire their constituencies, translate and evolve brands for the digital landscape, and bring consistency and simplicity to user interactions. Ipcar has led creative on projects for general election campaigns worldwide, advocacy organizations, institutions, and brands.


Susan Kare


Susan Kare is the designer “who gave the Macintosh a smile.” She is best known for creating the distinctive icons, typefaces, and other graphic elements that gave the Apple Macintosh its characteristic—and widely emulated—look and feel. Since then, Kare has designed digital graphics for numerous companies, including IBM, Microsoft, and Facebook, along with textiles for, prints, and murals. Since 2015, she has been a creative director at Pinterest.

Jenny Lay-Flurrie


Jenny Lay-Flurrie is chief accessibility officer at Microsoft. With the help of her team and broad community within Microsoft, Lay-Flurrie leads many initiatives to empower people with disabilities both inside and outside of Microsoft. These initiatives range from creating the Disability Answer Desk, which provides specialist customer support to people with disabilities, to hosting the annual Microsoft Ability Summit, which focuses on empowering attendees (more than 800 in the last three years) with the inclusive and innovative thinking necessary to enable people around the world. She has also been instrumental in projects such as Soundscape and the Microsoft Ability Hackathon, which has supported over 500 hackathon teams focused on empowering people with disabilities with new technologies and capabilities. Lay-Flurrie is a contributor to the book, “The Ability Hacks,” which shares behind-the-scenes stories of the hackers who pioneered two innovative hacks-turned-solutions used today by people with disabilities around the world. Outside of Microsoft, Jenny is the current board chair of Disability:IN and was recognized as a “Disability Employment Champion of Change” by the White House in October 2014.

Greg Lindsay


Greg Lindsay is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its offshoot LA CoMotion. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and urbanist-in-residence at URBAN-X — BMW MINI’s urban tech accelerator.

Jaron Lubin

Safdie Architects

As a design principal, Jaron Lubin has worked alongside Moshe Safdie to produce an extensive portfolio of proposals, competition entries and realized projects spanning a variety of geographic contexts, scales, and programs. Lubin was project architect for the iconic hotel garden Skypark at Marina Bay Sands and relocated to Singapore during its construction. He has continued his focus in Singapore providing design leadership for an expansion for Marina Bay Sands, a residential tower development named Sky Habitat, and the collaboration with the Edition hotels brand along Singapore’s famed Orchard Road. Lubin led the design team consortium for Jewel Changi Airport orchestrating the design competition and then managing the International team through the Design Development phase. Lubin is a frequent writer and lecturer traveling internationally to share the work of the firm. He is currently teaching a studio “Re-thinking the Humanist High-Rise” with Moshe Safdie at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Gene Lee


Gene Lee is the vice president of design at Mailchimp. Partnering closely with marketing, product, engineering, and customer support, Lee and his team are responsible for connecting the dots across Mailchimp’s brand to drive customer loyalty and brand affinity. Previously, Lee served as head of UX design at Sony PlayStation and held various creative and design roles at Razorfish, Young & Rubicam, Landor Associates, Scholastic, and Nickelodeon.

Marcio Leibovitch

Work & Co.

Marcio Leibovitch is the General Manager of Work & Co’s Brazilian offices. With more than 20 years of experience in product strategy, customer research and design, Marcio was previously director of user experience at Yu Centrik in Montreal, Canada, leading the design team on digital products across multiple industries and teaching UX and prototyping techniques.

John Maeda


John Maeda is global head of design at Automattic, leading the world’s largest all-distributed design team. Formerly of Kleiner Perkins, Rhode Island School of Design, and the MIT Media Lab, he serves on the board of Sonos, Wieden+Kennedy, and Cooper Hewitt.

Justin Garrett Moore

New York City Public Design Commission

Justin Garrett Moore is an urban designer and the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission. He has extensive experience in urban design and city planning—from large-scale urban systems, policies, and projects to grassroots and community-focused planning, design, and arts initiatives. At the Public Design Commission, his work is focused on advancing the quality of the public realm, and fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the city’s public buildings, spaces, and art.

Janett Nichol


Janett Nichol is the vice president of apparel innovation at Nike. A longtime Nike veteran, Nichol has designed basketball uniforms for Division 1 programs including Kentucky, Connecticut, and Georgetown, as well as signature collections for some of basketball’s most elite athletes like Michael Jordan. Today, she leads the innovation team for the Apparel NXT organization.

[Photo: Alisa Connan]

Jay Osgerby

Barber & Osgerby

Jay Osgerby established his eponymous, London-based, design studio Barber & Osgerby with Edward Barber in 1996 after both obtaining their Masters’ degrees in architecture at The Royal College of Art. Known for challenging the boundaries between Art & industry, their diverse body of work spans industrial design, furniture and site-specific installations as well as limited edition pieces. The studio is currently working with leading global manufacturers including Axor, B&B Italia, Emeco, Flos, Hermès, Knoll and Vitra. In 2001 Barber and Osgerby founded creative design consultancy Universal who are recognised as world leaders in architecture, interiors and exhibition design. In 2012, Jay and Edward followed this with the launch of MAP, a strategy-based industrial design studio that provides design intuition, creative direction and research to ambitious clients.

[Photo: Mitch Ranger]

Andi Owen

Herman Miller

Andi Owen is the president and chief executive officer, and member of the board of directors, for Herman Miller, Inc., a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services.

Matt Quintanilla


Matt Quintanilla is a partner and director of product design at Postlight, a digital product studio in New York City. At Postlight he has cultivated a dedicated and diverse team of strategic thinkers and has led efforts for clients including Bloomberg, Vice News, Goldman Sachs, Barnes & Noble, and The Obama Foundation.

Kim Rees

Capital One

Kim Rees is head of data experience design at Capital One. Her work is deeply aligned to serve the practices of data science and machine learning in human-centered approaches.

Gregg Renfrew


Gregg Renfrew founded Beautycounter, a brand dedicated to getting safer personal care and beauty products into the hands of everyone, in 2011. She launched the brand as a Certified Benefit Corporation (B corp) in 2013, leading the way to better beauty by putting performance and health first. As CEO of Beautycounter, Renfrew is also dedicated to setting a new health and safety standard for the beauty industry. Rare among business leaders, she is an advocate for more federal regulation, specifically for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of harmful ingredients in personal care products. Under Renfrew’s leadership, Beautycounter is contributing to the rise of a modern industry built by female entrepreneurs and advocates. Her push for stronger cosmetic safety laws is providing more than 45,000 Beautycounter consultants – mostly women – with the opportunity to be business owners and activists. At the same time, Beautycounter is redefining direct selling. In what has traditionally been a single-channel industry, Beautycounter products are available to consumers through multiple channels: independent Consultants, online at, through strategic partnerships, and pop-up shops.

Janelle Shane

Janelle Shane’s machine learning humor blog,, looks at ways that algorithms can surprise and amuse us – even when they fail. Her experiments feature neural networks that try to invent human things like recipes, paint colors and Halloween costumes, to mixed (but hilarious) results. has been covered in the Guardian, the Atlantic, NBC News, Slate, All Things Considered, and more. She has only made a neural network recipe once and discovered that horseradish brownies are about as terrible as you might imagine.

Rohan Silva

Second Home

Rohan Silva is cofounder of Second Home, a socially minded British business that creates workspaces, cultural venues, and bookshops designed to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in new ways. Silva was previously Senior Policy Adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and was responsible for developing the UK’s key enterprise policies, including Entrepreneur Visas, Entrepreneur Relief, and Tech City. Silva is also a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, and an honorary fellow at the Royal College of Art.

Eli Spencer

UC San Diego Medical School

Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer (Eli Spencer) has worked in the United States, Africa, and South America as an infectious disease physician and health technology researcher. This year he is embarking on a new effort, earth2.0, with Don Norman (Human Centered Design) and Henrik Christenson (AI and Robotics), to tackle societal and earth scale problems by empowering community innovation and coordinated action, people-power. Dr. Spencer is a faculty member of UC San Diego’s Medical School division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health where he directs the Center for Health at the Design Lab and Co-directs the Distributed Health Labs at the Qualcomm Institute. His lab develops human-centered and democratizing tools, diagnostics, and informatics methods, to allow more people to participate in global health and medical care. Work in the lab ranges from smartphone diagnostics and renewable biosensors to non-invasive biometrics for infants, trust frameworks for health automation, and societal platforms for cancer care.

Davin Stowell

Smart Design

When Davin Stowell founded Smart Design 40 years ago, it was a pioneer in human-centered design. Today Smart continues to evolve its mantra that “design is about people, not things,” to create strategies, products, and services that help people live better and work smarter. The OXO Good Grips line he created in 1989 is one of the most successful and widely cited examples of universal design applied to everyday products. In 2018, the OXO Good Grips peeler received Fast Company‘s first Timeless Design award. An inventor at heart, Stowell is the recipient of numerous awards and patents and is happiest when he’s tinkering and solving problems.

Lisa Strausfeld

Information Art

Lisa Strausfeld is an award-winning interaction designer, information architect, and data visualization pioneer. Her studio is Informationart. She currently holds a senior research position at The New School where her focus is on visualizing knowledge as an immersive 3D world. From 2015 to 2017, Strausfeld served as acting global creative director of the Gallup Organization. Prior to Gallup, Strausfeld spent three years at Bloomberg LP as global head of data visualization. From 2002 to 2011, Strausfeld was a partner at Pentagram, where she built a practice around digital information projects including the design of large-scale media installations, software prototypes, user interfaces, signage, and websites. She received the 2010 National Design Award for interaction design and her work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

[Photo: Mark Cocksedge]

Yuri Suzuki


Yuri Suzuki is a sound artist, designer, and electronic musician. In 2018, Suzuki was appointed partner at Pentagram. Based at Pentagram’s London studio Yuri and his team work with an international client base pushing the boundaries of design, technology, and sound crossing the fields of both low tech and high tech.

Kristy Tillman


Kristy Tillman currently serves as the head of global experience design at Slack. As the first in the role, she is building a vision and a team whose mission it is to lead the transformation of branded and built environments, workplace experience and culture, and their integrated services and programs through the use of design and technology to make Slack employees, partners, and visitors’ lives more pleasant and productive.

Richard Ting


Richard Ting– EVP global chief experience officer and U.S. chief creative officer – has been guiding and directing digital design teams for more than 20 years, building innovative digital products, services, and customer experiences for clients like Nike, Samsung, Google, Verizon, and Equinox. His work has received nearly every major creative award, including the Cannes Titanium Lion, the D&AD Black Pencil, and the Grand CLIO. Ting is also a co-founder and partner in R/GA Ventures and has advised more than 100 early-to-growth stage start-ups. Ting is a sought-after industry leader, speaking at prominent conferences such as Cannes, RISE, SXSWi, and CES.

Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte is a statistician, artist, professor, and leading thinker in the field of information design and data visualization. His new book is Meaning, Space, Models, Data, Truth (2020). Hogpen Hill Farms, on 234 acres in northwest Connecticut, displays his landscape artworks.

Patrick Whitney

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Patrick Whitney is professor in residence in the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Currently he is helping students design ways of increasing the availability of fresh food for communities at risk in Boston, researching ways of designing cities in Thailand centered on health and happiness, and teaching classes for executive about creating a “culture of health” in their organizations. He led the IIT Institute of Design from 1987 to 2017.

Robert Wong

Google Creative Lab

Robert Wong is an American graphic designer best known for his work as design chief of Starbucks and co-founder of Google Creative Lab. He has been honored as a Master of Design by Fast Company and one of 50 Most Influential Designers in America. His work has been shown at exhibitions around the world including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).


About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D