Senate Selection Committee

As part of the evaluation process, the Senate Selection Committee, including the WDO President, will be tasked to evaluate and select the recipient of the World Design Medal.

Mugendi M’Rithaa
2015-2017 President
South Africa

Prof. Mugendi K. M’Rithaa is an industrial designer, educator and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He studied in Kenya, the USA, India and South Africa and holds postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Design and Higher Education, as well as a doctorate in Universal Design. He is widely traveled and has taught in Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Sweden and is passionate about various expressions of socially conscious (and responsible) design, including: Designerly Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change; Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability; Distributed Renewable Energy; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Participatory Design; and Universal Design.

Mugendi has a special interest in the pivotal role of design thinking in advancing the developmental agenda primarily on the African continent. He is associated with a number of international networks focusing on design within industrially developing (or majority world) contexts. Mugendi is also Africa’s first President of the World Design Organization™, formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Much of his work focuses on the importance of WDO in supporting the aspirations of younger designers worldwide.

Brandon Gien
2013-2015 President
Covenor of the Senate

Dr. Brandon Gien is the CEO of Good Design Australia, an international design promotion organization that conducts Australia’s Good Design Awards program. Dr. Gien is an Adjunct Professor of Industrial Design and holds a PhD in Environmental Design at the University of Canberra. He was formerly General Manager of Design Strategy and Head of Corporate Services at Standards Australia, recognized by the Government as Australia’s peak standards body. In 2011, he was made a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia for his contribution to the design profession in Australia.

Soon-In Lee
2011-2013 President
South Korea

From 1975, Soon-in Lee worked as a designer for Gold Star (later to become LG). In 1990, he became president of the LG Europe Design Center in Dublin, and in 1995 became director of the LG Electronics Corporate Design Center in Seoul. During the same year, he became Executive Managing Director of the Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP). He was also Executive Managing Director of the Seoul Design Center from 2013-2015. A former Dean of the International Design School for Advanced Studies at Hong-ik University in Seoul, Mr. Lee is currently a Professor there.

Mark Breitenberg
2009-2011 President
United States

Dr. Mark Breitenberg is currently Director of Business Development at Interactivism. From 2012 to 2015, he was Special Assistant to the President at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (California). From 2009 to 2012, he was the Provost at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland. Dr. Breitenberg also served as Chair of the jury for the 2010 National Design Awards at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and was appointed to the San Francisco Arts Commission, Civic Design in 2010. As Dean at Art Center College of Design (2003-2009), he created various new research programs and curricula, including one based on the transdisciplinary complement of liberal arts and sciences to studio practice.

Carlos Hinrichsen
2007-2009 President

Carlos Hinrichsen, born in 1957, graduated as an industrial designer in Chile in 1982 and earned his Master’s Degree in engineering in Japan in 1991. He was appointed Senior Managing Coordinator of Engineering-Design in the Faculty of Engineering of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he is in charge of carrying through an innovation and joint development strategy. In 2010, he was honoured with the distinction “Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland”. He has led initiatives that integrate business, engineering, design, innovation, management and technology. He also gives lectures at various conferences and universities around the world.

Peter Zec
2005-2007 President

Peter Zec (*1956) is an internationally acclaimed design expert and author, best known for initiating and leading the Red Dot Design Award. Since 1991, he has been president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, which organizes the award. He was president of both the Federation of German Graphic Designers (BDG) and the Association of German Industrial Designers (VDID). From 2006–2007, he was chairman of the International Design Alliance. In 2016, he received the honorary citizenship of the City of Seoul for his commitment to the South Korean capital.

Luigi Ferrara
2003-2005 President

Luigi Ferrara is an architect, designer, urbanist and strategist and has been the Dean of the Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology at George Brown College since 2002. Under his guidance, the Centre was ranked one of the top 60 design schools in North America, according to Business Week magazine, and its Institute Without Boundaries was ranked as one of the top 4 Urban Design programs in the world by Azure magazine. He holds a Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Toronto, and is a registered architect with seal. He has over 30 years of experience in private and public sector urban development and innovation and lends his expertise to almost a dozen boards and associations.

Robert Blaich
1987-1989 President
United States

Dr. Robert Blaich was Vice President of Design and Communications at Herman Miller from 1964-1979, and Senior Managing Director of Global Design at Royal Philips Netherlands from 1980 – 1992, where he introduced design into the production and marketing process. Currently President of Blaich Associates, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from Syracuse University and in 1991 received a Doctor Honoris Causa from the same University. He was a board member and former Chairman of Teague Design. He was named to the Order of Oranje Nassau-Netherlands Knighthood in 1991 and received the IDSA World Design Award in 1992. An accomplished author, he has given over 200 international lectures, participated on 30 international juries and he has received 350 international design awards.