INSEAD and art center college of design partnership

Heavy Hitters Celebrate at Airbnb's San Francisco HQ

Middle East, Asia, Europe
27 February 2015

Exploring how design and business influence each other to create innovation was barely a thought bubble of Wall Street power players a decade ago. Not so for leaders at Art Center College of Design and INSEAD who, in 2005, launched a groundbreaking collaboration between MBA and design students that today is recognized as a proven pipeline to successful ventures in the creative economy. Alumni and faculty from both institutions will recognize the 10-year partnership at a celebration on Saturday, February 28, at Airbnb's architecturally acclaimed headquarters in San Francisco. The event will include a panel of former students who participated in the collaborative program at INSEAD and are now design and business leaders in their respective fields. The purpose of the reunion and networking event is to reconnect and form future partnerships.

“There’s tremendous value from this partnership between INSEAD and Art Center College of Design, not only to the talent that emerges after graduation but in creating a collective consciousness among business leaders who deeply understand the design way of thinking,” said Manuel Sosa, associate professor of Technology and Operations Management, INSEAD.

Each year, a cohort of design students from Art Center’s Pasadena campus spend a term abroad, taking MBA-level business courses at one of INSEAD’s international campuses in Europe in Fontainebleau, or in Asia in Singapore. Student teams collaborate on product-based, entrepreneurial projects while diving into the fundamentals of business development. As part of this partnership, the MBA students spend an immersive week in California’s design-driven culture, with studio visits to industry partners such as Idealab, Disney Consumer Products, General Motors, Karten Design and Belkin. This year, the tour has extended to Silicon Valley and San Francisco with visits to Google, IDEO, fuseproject, frog and Autodesk.

“Successful companies are built by risk takers able to tap an impressive interconnected web of talented innovators who share an appreciation for the powerful intersection of design and business,” said Karen Hofmann, Product Design chair at Art Center College of Design and managing director of the College’s partnership with INSEAD. “This decade-long collaboration has fueled a unique and thriving network of design and business leaders and industry partnerships around the world, resulting in a number of successful endeavors.”

The reunion will take place at Airbnb's incredible corporate offices in San Francisco where Art Center Product Design alumna Katie Dill, class of 2007, serves as head of experience design. A graduate of the INSEAD program, Dill says the experience dramatically sharpened her strategic business and entrepreneurial skills.

About Art Center College of Design

Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design ( is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts as well as industrial design disciplines. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and social impact initiatives, Art Center is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, Art Center alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Art Center College of Design Media Contacts:
Teri Bond, Art Center College of Design
+1 626 396 2385
[email protected]

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 168 renowned Faculty members from 41 countries inspire more than 1,100 degree participants annually in our Master in Management,  MBA, Global Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 12,400 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

Chris Howells
Tel +65 6799 5490
Email: [email protected]

Aileen Huang
Tel +65 6799 5552
Email: [email protected]

Ilan Goren
Tel: +33 6 78 04 25 77
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Cheryl Ng
Tel +65 6799 5490
Email: [email protected]

Linda Furtado
Tel + 971 2 6515309
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