Dan Formosa

From the start of his career Dan Formosa has been helping change the way we think about design. With a background in design and ergonomics, he understands not simply how a product should work, but also how people work – because design is about people, not things.

From 1981 to 1990 he helped create Smart Design, a multi-awarding winning company that works across the physical and digital to design meaningful experiences. Smart Design has a 26-year history of turning insight and innovation into successful consumer products, communications and brands. Their multi-disciplinary approach brings together experts in product, graphic and interaction design, business factors, engineering, and design research to ensure solutions that connect with people.

He has worked with clients such as Ford, HP, Johnson & Johnson, LG Electronics, Microsoft, OXO, and UCB. Dan’s orginal work on OXO Good Grips kitchen tools helped them become a symbol of inclusive design. Dan conceived SmartGauge, an instrument cluster for Ford Motor Company designed to influence driving behavior to save fuel – an innovation for the industry. In healthcare he has rethought products from consumer items to surgical equipment, automobiles to food.

He was featured in the film “Objectified,” and is also the recipient of numerous awards. Awards include the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, accepted on behalf of Smart Design, and IxDA’s first annual Interaction Design Award, in the “Disruptive” category. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Dan continues to develop ways to better understand design and its potential, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods in design research, and drawing on knowledge from a wide array of disciplines. The results continue to have positive impact on people’s lives.

In addition to his personal consulting work he recently co-founded two collectives, 4B Collective (focusing on design and gender) and Brainpool (focusing on design and emotion). Dan also helped create the Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, the first of its kind, exploring the future of brands. He lectures and writes frequently about the physical and emotional aspects of design. He also co-authored the bestselling book Baseball Field Guide.