IXD102 – Pocket Profile: Tim Brown

Tim Brown is an English industrial designer, born in Preston, 1962. He attended the Royal College of Art, where he studied Industrial Design, graduating in 1987. Currently, Brown is the CEO of the award-winning innovation and design firm IDEO. He tends to take an approach to design that digs deeper than the surface, his mission being to fuse design, business and social studies. Brown offers to the company fascinating insights on creativity, design thinking and the birth of new ideas.

Brown’s main source of inspiration comes from complex and scientific systems, both in the natural world and the electronic world. He forms many of his ideas by looking at the emerging behaviour from science. He also takes a lot of his inspiration from history, particularly in fields such as technology, design and business. He takes time to look back on great historical figures such as Charles Darwin, Petter Drucker and Buckminster Fuller, as he finds this can be incredibly insightful and puts things in the modern world into perspective. He also finds Bill Moggridge, co-founder of IDEO, to be one of his main sources of inspiration, as he showed Brown how design was a voyage of discovery, rather than a discipline.

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” – Tim Brown

Brown’s work has been seen at major galleries and museums, including Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He also takes part in advisory work, for senior executives, boards and organisations such as the Mayo Clinic, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase.



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