MAYA Design Launches LUMA Institute to Teach Design Thinking to Everyone

September 23, 2010

PITTSBURGH, PA, September 23, 2010 – MAYA Design, a leading technology design and innovation consultancy, announced today the launch of LUMA Institute, a training and development venture dedicated to teaching the merit and methods of human-centered design in a world of connected products and services.

Like MAYA Design, the new venture is primarily focused on serving organizations that are wrestling with the need to create more useful, usable and desirable services by embedding a culture of creativity targeting customer satisfaction. In order for companies to innovate and remain competitive, LUMA Institute develops educational programs aimed at teaching internal, cross-functional development teams the “tricks” of the design trade across all sectors of business.

“Just as it became critical to be literate in science, technology, engineering and math in the last century, design is becoming a core literacy of the future,” said Chris Pacione, director, CEO and co-founder of LUMA Institute. “The recent radical shift to a globally connected economy is creating the need for new organizations especially competent in design.”

Human-centered design is a discipline comprising dozens of methods. When employed, they help businesses be hyper-attentive to the needs and desires of their customers. The Institute helps organizations learn and perform the skills required to innovate and provides them with “muscle memory” to ensure immediate application. To date over 1200 people have participated in LUMA workshops. Many participants hail from Fortune 500 companies, but the demand has recently expanded to academic and government organizations looking to increase skills in critical thinking and innovation.

“The world is exploding exponentially with ever more powerful and complex things,” said Mickey McManus, president and CEO of MAYA Design. “The workshops have raised appreciation for the business value of designing for people, rather than just for technology. They teach engineers, marketers, and business leaders tangible skills to design better experiences. This is beneficial for everyone, including design consultancies that are often misunderstood by other professionals who see them as merely purveyors of style.”

About MAYA Design
MAYA Design is a leading technology design and innovation lab that works to turn human experiences with technology products into positive, fruitful interactions. For over 20 years, MAYA Design’s team of experts in human sciences, engineering and design have been working with a range of Fortune 500 companies and start-up businesses to design innovative products and solutions that improve the interactions between people and information. For more information, please visit

About LUMA Institute
LUMA Institute is a training and development company that helps organizations and individuals (from K through CEO) learn and leverage the practices of Human-Centered Design. Its services help businesses, schools, and government enlist design to drive innovation and make things better. For more information about workshops and programs please visit