EunSook Kwon Appointed School of Industrial Design Chair

EunSook Kwon stands in an art gallery.
Photo: University of Houston

June 28, 2021 • Atlanta, GA

The College of Design is proud to announce EunSook Kwon’s appointment as chair of the School of Industrial Design, effective August 1, 2021.

“Dr. Kwon has clearly established herself as an international authority on design thinking and the application of the creative process to product design,” said Steven P. French, the dean and John Portman Chair of the College of Design. “Her work covers a wide range of product types, including medical devices, household products, and computing systems.”

Before joining Georgia Tech, Kwon was a professor and director of the industrial design program in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston. She holds a BFA and an MFA in Industrial Design from Seoul National University, and an M.A. in Industrial Design and Ph.D. in Arts Education from The Ohio State University.

“I’ve been observing the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design grow for the last two decades,” Kwon said. “Their programs are really well established, not only as general design education but because of specific focuses like health and wellbeing, interactive product design, and human-centered design innovation.”

“As chair, I think my critical role will be to build a systematic, sustainable strategic plan to fully support the programs, and develop a doctoral degree and international programs,” she said. A signature part of her leadership will be local and global outreach.

“I want to bring our design to the Atlanta community, not only to address important social issues but also to expand our lessons to local K-12 and STEM education programs,” Kwon said.

“A number of universities have sought Dr. Kwon’s advice on new and existing industrial design programs,” French said. “She is recognized as an education leader with an impressive list of awards for teaching and curriculum development.”

In 2008 Kwon was recognized with the Design Educator Award by the Dell Green Computing Design Competition. In both 2011 and 2015 she was listed as one of the 30 Most Admired Educators by Design Intelligence. She received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Houston in 2017.

Kwon has a passion for the holistic problem-solving nature of design thinking as well as education. Good design needs to be human-centered, she said, and so does design education.

Industrial designers do more than just create products, she said. “Their process is very unique, because they have a visual language, holistic understanding about social, cultural, and technological issues, and they are able to interpret those issues into their visual language and create a solution.”

Kwon said Georgia Tech’s industrial design programs stand apart from their peers in this respect, and that influenced her decision to apply for the chair position.

“Georgia Tech students are smart, intelligent, and good at learning. Their attitude toward continuous learning and adopting new technologies is critically important, because the role of the designer is always changing,” she said.

“It’s a difficult job to do. And because of that difficult level there are only a few design programs that can educate students to manage complex issues as opposed to only designing products. Georgia Tech has the creative and research infrastructure to do that, as well as students who are capable of the job.”

The Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design emphasizes a designer’s role in the connections between people and technology. Their focus on research in the areas of interactive product design, healthcare and accessibility design, and user experience influences innovation throughout the Institute.

Georgia Tech added industrial design courses to the Architecture program in 1940. By 1952, Tech hired Bauhaus veteran Hin Bredendieck to establish the industrial design program.

Serving 324 students, the School offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design (BSID), a Master of Industrial Design (MID), the Industrial Design specialization of the Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction (MS-HCI-ID), and the Industrial Design focus of the Ph.D. in Architecture. The Minor in Industrial design is the most popular minor at Georgia Tech, and the School supports more than 200 additional students in this program.

The School supports four research labs and has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) continuously since 2004.

Media Inquiries

Ann Hoevel
Director of Communications
College of Design
E-mail Ann Hoevel
+1 404-385-0693