Ravi Sawhney

Thursday, November 1st, 7:00 – 9:30pm

Staying Excited About Design

In the Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

After three decades as CEO of RKS – the strategic design consultancy he founded in 1980 – Ravi Sawhney is more excited about design than ever. Ravi will discuss his people-centered approach, the benefit of incorporating empathy in every design project, and how these enable him to deliver relevant solutions to modern challenges.

Ravi Sawhney is the founder and CEO of RKS, a global leader in Strategy, Innovation, and Design. RKS is best known for its legacy of transforming client aspirations into powerful business results by creating evangelistic consumers and building viral demand for its clients’ products.

Born in Canada and raised in Southern California, Mr. Sawhney’s contributions to the industrial design profession range from numerous to legendary. After graduating college, Mr. Sawhney was hired by Xerox’s Advanced Development Group where he was the sole Industrial Designer working with a team of twenty Cognitive and Social Scientists to develop the first touch-screen interface years before computers entered the mainstream. There he created an information hierarchy (including consistent placement of status bar, return icons, and help menus) that is still seen in our computers today.

Since founding RKS nearly 30 years ago, Mr. Sawhney has been recognized with every major design award in the industry, sometimes tenfold, for a top tier client list that reads like the who’s who of business. In the process, RKS has helped generate nearly 200 patents on behalf of their clients. In 2004 he was named chairperson of the Industrial Design Excellence Award program. Becoming aware of the need for design to break into the boardroom, Mr. Sawhney innovated the IDSA/BusinessWeek Catalyst award for products that generate measurable business results. This year, his has been named Chair of the Catalyst project to direct its evolution into program to develop case studies about design’s greatest successes.

Mr. Sawhney invented the popular Psycho-Aesthetics® design strategy, which Harvard adopted as a Business School Case Study. For this unique process that can quantify sources of emotional demand in the market, Mr. Sawhney was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is a regularly featured lecturer at Harvard’s Business School, USC’s Marshall School of Business, and UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, where he teaches this powerful business-driven design tool to top business school students.