Kristian Simsarian

Kristian Simsarian is a leader in design, creativity, education and innovation with over 25 years of industry and academic experience. He believes in the power of design to humanize, enrich and positively transform the world. He has worked at the foremost technology invention labs around the world and served as a design and business leader at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, for over a decade. He leads creative team efforts to improve organizational and business success. He has helped create and scale excellent user experiences and futures, and shaped design strategy across a variety of industries around the globe. Notably he has helped a number of organizations increase quality control, create design teams and scale design for organizations in healthcare as well as global giants such as P&G, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP. He holds several patents and his work has been featured in business and design books and periodicals including The New York Times, Business Week, Time Magazine, Huffington Post as well as BBC and MSNBC. He continues his work at IDEO as an IDEO fellow.  

As the world faces increasingly complex challenges that require new ways of thinking, working, and collaborating, he sees design as a key part of the answer. He has focused his academic career on developing radically new pedagogy, processes and toolsets for increasing the capacity to humanize technology. As founding chair of the California College of the Arts Interaction Design Program, he has been highly influential in creating educational experiences that incorporate design thinking and deep craft. He led the effort to create the ground-breaking cross divisional, multidisciplinary hybrid lab, a space were artists, designers and architects come together to make with technology. He is a sought-after teacher and speaker and has taught and lectured at the University of Virginia, University of Chicago, Stanford University, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Edinburgh University and Tokyo University. In 2014 he co-authored Udacity's first design MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with Don Norman, titled “The Design of Everyday Things,” which enrolled tens of thousands of students around the world.  He received his BS from Columbia University, his MS from the University of Virginia, and his Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.


Chair, Interaction Design
Associate Professor, Interaction Design

BS, Columbia University; MS, University of Virginia; PhD, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm