The International Conference on Design Principles and Practices will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Richard Buchanan Kathryn Moore
Dennis Doordan Sol Sender
Marcia Lausen Bruce M. Tharp
Bill Lucas Stephanie Munson Tharp
Victor Margolin Patrick Whitney

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Richard Buchanan
Richard Buchanan is Professor of Design, Management and Information Systems at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Before joining the Weatherhead faculty in 2008, he was Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and directed the School of Design. He has taught in the traditional areas of Graphic and Industrial Design as well as the emerging area of Interaction Design. As a writer and theorist, he is well known for extending design thinking into new areas of research and application, including management, organization design, and systems environments. He is co-editor of Design Issues, an international journal of design history, theory, and criticism published by the M.I.T. Press. He served for two terms as President of the Design Research Society, the learned society of the design research community, with offices located in the United Kingdom. His numerous publications include the edited volumes Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies, The Idea of Design, and Pluralism in Theory and Practice. Buchanan is Visiting Professor at the London College of Communication and also at the University of Brighton. He received his Ph.D. from the Committee on the Analysis of Ideas and the Study of Methods, one of the prestigious interdisciplinary committees of the University of Chicago.

Dennis Doordan
Dennis Doordan is a design educator, historian, critic, museum consultant and co- editor of Design Issues a journal devoted to the history, theory, and criticism of design and recognized as one of the leading academic journals devoted to design studies. He has a Ph.D. from Columbia University (1983). He holds a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and the Department of Art, Art History and Design at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 1990, Doordan taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Tulane University. In 1999 and again in 2006, Doordan received the John A. Kaneb Award for Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Notre Dame.

Dennis Doordan has published books and articles on a wide variety of topics dealing with twentieth century architecture and design including political design, the impact of new materials, and the evolution of exhibition design techniques. He is the author of Twentieth Century Architecture, a survey of this subject (published in the UK by Laurence King Publishing and in North America by Harry N. Abrams) and the editor of Design History: An Anthology (published bit MIT Press). He has served as an exhibition consultant and contributed catalog essays for architecture and design exhibitions organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Toledo Art Museum, and the Wolfsonian Foundation in Miami Beach, Florida. He has spoken about design education and interdisciplinary research at international conferences in Melbourne Australia (2004) London, England (2002), Perth, Australia (2000), Helsinki, Finland (1999), and Columbus, Ohio (1999).

Dennis Doordan has provided on-camera commentary for “Frontiers of Construction:Worlds Fairs” produced by Barna-Alper Productions for Discovery Channel Canada(2000), and “Building for Meaning: The Architecture of Evans Woollen” produced by Spellbound Productions (1994) for broadcast on the PBS affiliate in Indianapolis, IN. September 1994.


Marcia Lausen
Marcia Lausen is founder of the Chicago office of Studio/lab and Director of the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

As Director of the UIC School of Art and Design, Marcia administrative leadership for programs in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Electronic Visualization, Moving Image, Photography, Studio Arts, and Art Education. As a Professor in the Graphic Design department Marcia teaches graduate and undergraduate students preparing for professional careers in design education, research, and practice.

Marcia is an outspoken advocate for the value of design in corporate, consumer, and government communications. She has served on the local and national boards of AIGA and she co-founded the election design initiative of Design for Democracy: a strategic program of AIGA that seeks to improve the quality and clarity of government communications. Her recently completed book “Design for Democracy: Ballot + Election Design” was published by AIGA and University of Chicago Press.

Marcia received her MFA in graphic design from Yale University and her BFA in graphic design from Indiana University. She was named a Fast Company Master of Design in 2004 for her work in election design.


Bill Lucas
Bill Lucas discovered design at the age of thirteen. Shortly thereafter, he converted his bedroom into a studio for low-tech printmaking and hi-tech filmmaking. Today, Bill helps organizations and individuals enlist the transformative power of design thinking. He serves on the leadership team of LUMA Institute, an education company dedicated to teaching everyone (from K through CEO) the merit and methods of Human-Centered Design.

After serving as Director of Visual Design from 1996-2001, Bill became the inaugural member of the Professional Practice Fellows Program at MAYA Design, a Pittsburgh-based technology design and innovation lab. Using a mix of old and new media, he has designed communication programs, product/service offerings and educational experiences for a wide range of organizations, including General Dynamics, Merrill Lynch, Whirlpool, DARPA and the US Postal Service.

Bill currently serves on the Advisory Board for the International Conference on Design Principles and Practices. In 2007, he served as co-chair for the “Design Community” facet of the ACM:SIG-CHI conference. Previously, He served on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the AIGA. Bill holds a B.S. in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.


Victor Margolin
Victor Margolin is Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is a founding editor and now co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues. Professor Margolin has published widely on diverse design topics and lectured at conferences, universities, and art schools in many parts of the world. Books which he has written, edited, or co-edited include Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion,WW II, The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1936, Design Discourse, Discovering Design and The Idea of Design, His most recent books are The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies, Culture is Everywhere: The Museum of Corn-temporary Art, and Healing the World: A Challenge to Designers (published as Archeworks Papers 1). He is currently working on a world history of design.

Kathryn Moore
Immediate Past President of the Landscape Institute, at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (UK), Professor Kathryn Moore has lectured and published extensively design quality, theory and education. Her teaching and research, set within landscape architecture has clear implications for architecture, urban design and other art and design disciplines, in addition to philosophy, aesthetics and education more generally. Recent consultancy projects include membership of the team for Martha Schwartz Inc, Living Landmarks Big Lottery Fund project, for Birmingham City Council and creating an urban vision for the Black Country with Lovejoys, Birmingham which evolved into a study of regeneration catalysts. She is currently writing a book partly funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago, Illinois, proposing a radical reappraisal of the relationship between the senses and intelligence. A trustee for CBAT, the arts regeneration agency in Cardiff, she is a member of the steering committee for the international City Park Design Competition, Birmingham City Council.

Sol Sender
Sol Sender led the creative development of the Obama ’08 campaign logo. He is a Strategist at VSA Partners , is the owner of Sender LLC, and is an adjunct faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his BA from Bowdoin College, and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Bruce M. Tharp
Tharp received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University (1989), and after serving as an Army nuclear weapons officer in Germany, he was a distinguished graduate (1996) of Pratt Institute’s graduate industrial design program. He then went on to complete doctoral studies in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Chicago, investigating material culture, consumption, value production, and asceticism among the Old Order Amish.

Before joining SAIC he worked as a corporate anthropologist and design researcher for Haworth, a global contract furniture manufacturer. There, Tharp researched the future of the office environment as a member of the in-house think-tank—the Ideation group—and liaised with the industrial design department. He has lectured at industrial design departments and at conferences nationally and internationally. His design work has been exhibited at the Salon de Mueble de Paris, the ICFF, and at galleries/boutiques/museum shops in New York, LA, and Chicago. His work has recently been published in US-based magazines such as Interior Design, Graphis, and RES as well as in Polish, Spanish, Italian, Belgian, Israeli, Canadian, and Ukranian periodicals.

Currently Tharp is engaged in design projects that include universal/inclusive design, interactive design, sustainable design, and domestic objects created using rapid prototyping techniques.


Stephanie Munson Tharp
Stephanie Munson is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches industrial design and interactive product design studios. She holds an MID from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Her awards include Future Furniture Competition Winner from Interior Design Magazine, 2006; Best in Show from Design Within Reach Modern+Design+Function Chicago Furniture Now Competition, 2006 and 2004. She has lectured and presented at Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, Design MX: Envisioning Design for the 21st Century in Mexico City, International Engineering and Product Design Education Conference in Scotland, Southern Yangtze University’s School of Design in China, and The IDSA National Education Conference in California. She has received grants from Motorola, The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), and The OVCR Arts, Architecture and Humanities Award at The University of Illinois at Chicago.

Stephanie Munson Tharp’s publications include Industrial Design Gradu­ate Education: Identity Finding with Tunstall, Elizabeth (Dori). Proceedings: IDSA National Education Conference, 2006; Tracking the Flow: Evaluating the Use of Process Mapping and Visual Storyboarding in the Classroom with Kevin Reeder. Proceed­ings: IDSA National Education Conference, 2006; Designerly Research—Information vs. Inspiration with Bruce M. Tharp in Educating Designers for a Global Context 2006; Interview in Innovation, the journal of IDSA, 2006; The Influences of Computing Technologies on Products and Product Design Education, IDSA National Education Conference Proceedings, 2004; and The Role of Computing Technologies in Product Design Education, International Engineering and Product Design Education Conference Proceedings, 2004. She has exhibited her work at The Betty Rymer Gallery at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The HauteGreen Sustainability Show in Brooklyn, NY, and the Design Within Reach Showroom in Chicago. Her work has been reviewed in Interior Design Magazine, The Chicago Reader, RES Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune.


Patrick Whitney
Professor Patrick Whitney is the dean of the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology and is the Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design.

Professor Whitney has published and lectured throughout the world about how to make technological innovations more humane, the link between design and business strategy, and methods of designing interactive communications and products. His writing has focused on new frameworks of design that respond to two transformations: the shift from mass-production to flexible production and the shift from national markets to markets that are both global and “markets of one.”

He has been on the jury of numerous award programs, including the U.S. Presidential Design Awards, was a member of the White House Council on Design, and was chairman of the program of the 1978 U.S. Conference of the International Council on Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA), which was the first major meeting addressing the issues of evaluating design from the perspective of users. Professor Whitney was the president of the American Center for Design (ACD) and the editor of Design Journal, its annual publication. He is on several advisory boards in the U.S. and abroad and is a trustee of the Global Heritage Fund.

He consults and conducts executive workshops for numerous corporations and organizations. These have included Aetna, BP, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Steelcase, Texas Instruments, Zebra Technologies, and departments of the governments of Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and the UK.
In addition to speaking at major design conferences throughout the world, Professor Whitney frequently speaks at conferences beyond the design field, such as China Daily’s CEO Summit, the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, the 50th anniversary of the Aspen Institute, and the TED conference. He is the principal investigator of several research projects at the Institute of Design, including Global Companies in Local Markets, Design for the Base of the Pyramid, and Schools in the Digital Age. His work has received support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and numerous corporations.