Robert Fee

Professor and Designer




Robert Fee is professor emeritus at the Savannah College of Art and
Design where he was recognized twice by Design Intelligence as one of
the Most Admired Industrial Design Educators. In 2007 he founded the
Graduate Program in Design Management, a curriculum focused on
business and organizational anthropology, collaborative learning,
brand analytics, design principles, and business practices. Named by
BusinessWeek one of the “World’s Best Design Schools” for teaching
design thinking, students conduct scholarly investigation and develop
theoretical constructs that contribute to the state-of-the-art of
design leadership and management in organizations.

In addition to creating and teaching a graduate course on the
facilitation of creative thinking, Fee developed and conducted a
series of innovation workshops with management and planning teams from
global firms, such as Chick-fil-A, Steelcase, the Industrial Research
Institute, as well as the SCAD Collaborative Learning Center. Fee
helped formulate the Industrial Design Department’s direction and core
values, as well as the graduate program curriculum. Industrial design
and design management M.F.A. thesis research topics that Fee chaired
included, biosand water filtration devices in rural Ugandan villages,
reframing wind energy at the local level, dignity as a driving force
in organizations, clean cook-stove design in the slums of Bangalore,
and intercultural design anthropology as a stimulus for implementing
design thinking in India.

Fee began his career at Boeing’s computer graphics lab and
participated in the first known computer rendition of the human
figure. Working with design consulting firms in Chicago and Wichita,
Kansas, he perfected a rapid two-day collaborative-working session
with clients in equipment manufacturing and consumer products. Several
of Fee’s consumer products were in production for over two decades.

Following his industrial design career as a consultant Fee moved to
Texas Instruments where he became Manager of the Corporate Design
Center. While at TI, he extended the reach of his department through
close collaboration with the company’s venture projects and technology
transfer businesses. As many of these internal clients had never
worked with industrial designers before, design had to be about
communication and collaboration as well as the form and function of
the product. This dialogue became the foundation for his vision as an
educator based on theory in practice, interdisciplinary study, and
industry partnership.

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