John Maeda is a world-renowned graphic designer, artist, and computer scientist and is a founding voice for “simplicity” in the digital age. He has pioneered the use of the computer for people of all ages and skills to create art. Maeda’s early work redefined the use of electronic media as a tool for expression by combining skilled computer programming with a sensitivity to traditional artistic concerns. This work helped to develop the interactive motion graphics that are prevalent on the Internet today. He also initiated the Design by Numbers project, a global initiative to teach computer programming to visual artists through a freely available, custom software system that he designed. He has displayed his work at numerous exhibitions, lectured extensively worldwide, and has published several books featuring his graphic designs.
Previously Associate Director of Research at the MIT Media Laboratory, where he managed relationships for a $32M laboratory, he also held the E. Rudge and Nancy Allen Professorship of Media Arts and Sciences. On June 1, 2008, he became the sixteenth president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, the preeminent college of art and design in the United States.
In 1999, Maeda was included in Esquire magazine’s list of the 21 most important people for the twenty-first century. He is also the recipient of the highest career honors for design in the USA (2001, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award; 2008, Art Directors Club Lifetime Achievement Award), Japan (2002, Mainichi Design Prize), and Germany (2005, Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize). In May of 2003, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He received both his BS and MS degrees from MIT, and earned his PhD in design from Tsukuba University Institute of Art and Design in Japan. He also holds an MBA from Arizona State University.
Maeda is the author of four books, including his 480-page retrospective MAEDA@MEDIA (2001, Thames & Hudson), and his most recent book, THE LAWS OF SIMPLICITY (2006, MIT Press).
He is the recipient of the highest career honors for design in the United States, Japan, and Germany and serves on the board of trustees for the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He has had major exhibits of his work in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, and has written several books on his philosophy of “humanizing technology” through his perspective on the future of creative uses of technologies, including THE LAWS OF SIMPLICITY (MIT Press) published in 14 languages. His design work and consulting for organizations like Google, Cartier, Samsung, Shiseido, Reebok, Chanel, Philips and Sony have led to seminal advances in how digital thinking meets the analog world with the greatest respect for humanity.
Maeda is a sought-after lecturer at major universities and boardrooms throughout the world.
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