MAYA Design Hires Education Director to Lead Venture Devoted to Fostering
Design Literacy

August 25, 2008 in Notes from the Field

MAYA Design, which has been developing a suite of design-education products and services, has named Chris Pacione, previously with BodyMedia, Inc., Director of Advanced Development, Education. Pacione will lead a venture devoted to the emerging need for design thinking in organizations.

“My job is to incubate our educational offering and ultimately spin off a new company that will not only satisfy the growing need for human-centered design in product-focused organizations, but also satisfy the need for design literacy in any organization,” said Pacione, who defines design as the discipline of bringing about intentional change through the making of “some thing.”

“Everything—from consumer products to public policy—is fundamentally designed,” said Pacione. “Because design is universal, design methodology can benefit many aspects of an organization, not just product development, and eventually separate the winners from the losers.”

MAYA currently provides an intensive three-day boot camp in human-centered design methodologies. The course is for senior marketing managers, engineers, and thought leaders in companies wanting to move beyond a product-centered approach in order to drive innovation and satisfy the needs of their customers.

“Chris is an innovative and strategic thinker with a passion for achieving positive societal change through education,” said Mickey McManus, MAYA’s president and CEO. “MAYA believes that people can learn how to think like designers, and that it is imperative for businesses to become learning organizations in this accelerating economy. Chris also understands the value of our mission as human-centered designers to separate the important from the arbitrary for greater return on investment.”

Pacione cofounded BodyMedia, Inc., where he led interaction design and customer marketing. His main responsibilities were the creation and design of the company’s clinical and consumer product offerings.

Before cofounding BodyMedia, Pacione was an assistant professor in the School of Design at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he developed new curriculum and taught courses in human-computer interaction, interface design, information design, and drawing. In earlier years, he worked at Fitch Richardson & Smiths’ Exploratory Design Lab as an interface and interaction designer.

Pacione has an undergraduate degree in design from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He holds several IDEA Gold Medal Awards sponsored by BusinessWeek and the Industrial Designers Society of America.

MAYA has spun off two companies, most recently Rhiza Labs. The first, MAYA Viz, was bought by General Dynamics in 2005. Since its founding in 1989, MAYA has been dedicated to taming complexity by improving the interactions between people and information technology. Through its human-centered research and commercial design practices, it helps companies and organizations to take advantage of the great market potential for innovative, highly usable products and services.

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