Thomas Garvey

Carleton University, School of Industrial Design (Canada)

Board Member Nominee

The new mission of the WDO is exciting and I congratulate the Secretariat, previous Executive Boards, and member institutions. I could contribute significantly in three areas.

Engaging young people early in their development is critical to sustaining a professional organization. It is challenging in professions like industrial design where boundaries overlap with related professions. Young designers are already well connected, informed, and energetic in their search for relationship value. Greater dialogue with them would identify exciting initiatives inclusive of their varied backgrounds and aspirations, and that demonstrate the long-term value of membership.

A highlight of the 2015 General Assembly was advocating for design that contributes to the UN SDGs. I have created pilot projects across our curriculum and supervised the first master thesis on the integration of UN SDGs in design programs across Canada. This experience would support the WDO global network to identify and co-create opportunities in other contexts.

I have worked professionally across a range of design disciplines and global settings. I understand the value of diversity and collaboration. I am deeply committed to promoting the growth of all educational, professional, promotional, and corporate members.

Member Organization
Carleton University School of Industrial Design



  • Doctor of Philosophy, Architectural Planning, University of Tokyo, 2003
  • Master of Science, Communications Design, Pratt Institute, New York, 1986
  • Bachelor of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1982

Professional Experience

  • Koizumi Sangyo Corporation, Osaka (1994-96)
  • Michael Kalil Foundation, New York (1991-93)
  • Kalil Studio, New York (1988-90)
  • Space Studies Institute, Princeton (1987-88)
  • Pentagram Partner Etan Manasse Associates, New York (1987-88)

Present Occupation
Associate Professor (1999-)(Director 2007-17)
Research in design for extreme and minimal environments, small-scale living spaces and urban density, integration of UN SDGs in design curricula, and international collaborations