How We Came Up With Our D-School List

BusinessWeek's panel of 42 academics, designers, consultants, and business managers helped whittle a list of 115 schools down to 30

For our annual list of educational establishments looking to produce a generation of design-savvy business leaders (and business-savvy design leaders), BusinessWeek asked academics, designers, consultants, and business managers to recommend master's and MBA programs that combine design thinking and business administration. About 115 schools were suggested by a group of 42 people that includes managers from Microsoft (MSFT), Steelcase (SCS), and Whirlpool (WHR), as well as the leaders of design firms such as Frog Design, Lunar, and Teague.

We gathered information on every recommended program, interviewing administrators, professors, and graduates to come up with a short list. We then tapped our panel for additional insight. Nominations of affiliated programs or schools were automatically discounted.

The final list of 30 schools presents a diverse mix of international master's and MBA programs that teach both business and design, emphasize design's strategic role in business, and significantly bridge disciplines such as design, business, and technology.

The education of future innovators and design thinkers is a huge topic, on which there is little consensus. And it should be noted that comparing programs is far from an exact science. We view our list as a starting point for further discussion and analysis.


John Barratt, President and CEO, Teague (U.S.)

Sunny Bates, President and CEO, Sunny Bates Associates (U.S.)

Julio Eugenio Bertola, Manager, Industrial Design Center, Electrolux (Brazil)

Ralf Beuker, Professor, Design Management, University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Ed Boyd, Vice-President, Consumer Experience Design, Dell (U.S.)

Gordon Bruce, Principal, Gordon Bruce Design (U.S.)

Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research (U.S.)

Fred Collopy, Professor and Chair, Information Systems Dept., Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University (U.S.)

Tom Dierking, Design Director, Innovation Capability, Procter & Gamble (U.S.)

John Edson, President, Lunar (U.S.)

Brandon Edwards, Associate Creative Director, Frog Design (China)

Hartmut Esslinger, Founder, Frog Design (U.S.)

Dan Formosa, Founding Member, Smart Design (U.S.)

Emilio Genovesi, Director, Domus Academy (Italy)

Gil Gershoni, Creative Director and Founding Partner, Gershoni (U.S.)

Tony Golsby-Smith, Founder and CEO, Second Road (Australia)

Vijay Govindarajan, Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College (U.S.)

Lee Green, Vice-President, Brand Experience, IBM (U.S.)

Walter Herbst, Clinical Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and Chairman and Founding Partner, Herbst LaZar Bell (U.S.)

Roland Harwood, Director of Open Innovation, NESTA (U.K.)

Krisztina Holly, Vice-Provost and Executive Director, USC Stevens Institute for Innovation (U.S.)

Daniel Joppert, Marketing and New Business, Objeto Brasil (Brazil)

Joice Joppert Leal, Executive Director, Objeto Brasil (Brazil)

Jaewoo Joo, PhD candidate, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (Canada, South Korea)

Lorraine Justice, Director, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China)

Prasad Kaipa, Executive Director, Center for Leadership, Innovation & Change, Indian School of Business (India)

John Kao, Chairman and CEO, Kao & Co. (U.S.)

David Kelley, Founder,, Stanford University and IDEO (U.S.)

Kun Pyo Lee, Professor and Head, Industrial Design Dept., Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (South Korea)

Nick Leon, Director, Design London, Royal College of Art (U.K.)

Sharon Li, Creative Coordinator, ?What If! (China)

James Ludwig, Vice-President, Global Design, Steelcase (U.S.)

Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (Canada)

Stephen Melamed, Clinical Associate Professor, Industrial Design, School of Art, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Design Principal, Tres Design Group (U.S.)

Ken Musgrave, Head of Industrial Design, Dell (U.S.)

Alexandre Neves, Master Industrial Designer, Electrolux (Brazil)

Henrik Otto, Senior Vice-President, Global Design, Electrolux (Sweden)

Fernando Pruner, Industrial Design Manager for Food Stream Solutions, Food Preparation & Air Treatment, Whirlpool (Brazil)

Nathan Shedroff, Chair, MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts (U.S.)

John Thackara, Director, Doors of Perception (France)

Dominic Twyford, Principal, India Insights (U.K.)

Deborah Weber, Advertising & Promotional Manager, Design Indaba (South Africa)

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