Karen Hofmann

As Chair of Product Design and Director of the Color, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory (CMTEL) at Art Center College of Design, Karen is instrumental in introducing new design research processes, curriculum, and vision-casting projects. She has gathered numerous sponsors including Nokia, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, and Nestle. Karen created the strategy for CMTEL, and is developing a unique educational program around color, materials, and trends. She also developed and launched the innovative project model DesignStorms®, a three-day creative immersion program with Art Center faculty and students, to partners such as Adidas, Volkswagen, Motorola, Disney, and Eastman Innovation Lab. The program explores future market opportunities and emerging technologies.

Karen leads the innovative study abroad program with INSEAD International Business School, and created Art Center’s design thinking executive education program hosted at the ESADE Business School. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Art Center’s recent launch of The Design Accelerator. With degrees in psychology and product design, Karen’s expertise is in design research, strategy, and insights. She spent several years at Johnson Controls Automotive Systems Group in Advanced Design and Research, and for the last decade has been teaching and consulting.

Organization: Art Center College of Design

Related Challenge: Fabric