John Maeda Quotes
John Maeda is an American executive, designer, technologist. His work explores the area where business, design, and technology merge to make space for the "humanist technologist." He is Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic where he seeks to address the diversity gap in tech by exploring how inclusion can be a key ingredient for success in the technology industry.
He is formerly Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he advised startups on the business impact of design and continues as a Strategic Advisor. He also serves on the Board of Directors of consumer electronics company Sonos and global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy.
He was a Professor at the MIT Media Lab for 12 years where he fostered a community of designers who could code and engineers who could design called the Aesthetics + Computation Group, and then created the Physical Language Workshop with Henry Holtzman. Shortly after the launch of the Design By Numbers project to teach artists and designers how to code, he helped to accelerate the Scratch language project in an NSF proposal with outreach across the digital divide. He resigned from MIT in 2008 to become the President of the Rhode Island School of Design, just as the global financial crisis of 2007-09 took hold.
In 2011, RISD's faculty majority passed a vote of no confidence in Maeda,. He survived the vote, and subsequently led RISD to be recognized by the business community as number one in the world while shepherding the national STEAM movement. Maeda resigned from his presidency at the end of 2013 and joined eBay Inc. as Chair of their Design Advisory Board and KPCB to advance design in Silicon Valley as chronicled by Stanford's Barry Katz.
Maeda was originally a Computer Science student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became fascinated with the work of Paul Rand and Muriel Cooper. Cooper was a director of MIT's Visible Language Workshop. After completing his bachelor's and master's degrees at MIT, Maeda studied in Japan at Tsukuba University's Institute of Art and Design to complete his Ph.D. in design.
As an artist, Maeda’s early work redefined the use of electronic media as a tool for expression by combining computer programming with traditional artistic technique, laying the groundwork for the interactive motion graphics that are taken for granted on the web today. He has exhibited in one-man shows in London, New York and Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
At RISD, Maeda led the movement to transform STEM to STEAM by adding Art. He states:
I believe art and design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century like science and technology did in the last century
For his work in advancing STEAM education, Maeda was recognized with a Tribeca Film Festival Disruptor Award and the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy Center.
In 1999, he was named one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century by Esquire. In 2001, he received the National Design Award for Communication Design in the United States and Japan's Mainichi Design Prize.
In 2006, Maeda published Laws of Simplicity, his best-selling book to date, based on a research project to find ways for people to simplify their life in the face of growing complexity.
In 2009 he was inducted into the New York Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame, and he received the AIGA Medal in 2010. He is a trustee of the Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum.
In 2014 and 2015 he guest curated and hosted PopTech: REBELLION and PopTech: HYBRID.
In 2015 he published his first Design In Tech Report to connect the investing world with the world of design and technology. A 2nd Design in Tech report was published in 2016. 3rd Design In Tech Report was published in 2017.