Will Harris, Design that Matters Photo
Segal Seminar Series

Will Harris, Design that Matters

January 22, 2013, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
1.350 (ITW Classroom)
2133 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208

Breaking the Cultural Barriers: Design with Empathy


Design for any context must always have empathy at its core, something is especially true when working in the developing world. This crucial key to creating context appropriate solutions is even more difficult when working across cultural and language barriers.

This talk will detail the Design that Matters (DtM) approach to design, and the difficult journey from concept to impact. Focusing on our most recent success, Firefly, a phototherapy device designed to treat newborn Jaundice in the developing world. The talk will cover the many trade offs and challenges faced from during its development, which have resulted in the successful implementation of Firefly within Vietnam.


Will is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (2010), where he received a BFA in Industrial Design. While still a student, Will worked with freelance design clients, leading to work in the medical, consumer goods, and furniture industries. In the past, he has worked with multiple start ups, assisting with business development and design management. Will is currently a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America and a StartingBloc Fellow.

While at DtM Will has helped lead DtM’s aesthetic and design process from concept generation, user identification, and final product design. Co-developed DtM’s process for creating new products and services for the poor in developing countries.