Vignelli Center supporters, RIT design alumni applaud Josh Owen on new director role

Ellen Granberg, RIT’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs: “I am delighted that Josh Owen is the new director of RIT’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies. He is an exceptional designer, teacher and scholar, who has already made a significant impact on the field of industrial design. Through his leadership of the Vignelli Center, Josh will be able to create new opportunities for RIT’s students, faculty and staff and further strengthen RIT’s place as a leader in design education.”

Eric Avar ’90 (industrial design), Nike’s vice president of design innovation: “There simply is no better candidate for the role of director of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies and the Massimo and Lella Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design position than Josh Owen. In the words and truth of Massimo Vignelli himself; “Owen’s vision of design is advanced, rooted in humanist culture spare and timeless.”

Lady Hamlyn CBE, British philanthropist: “I am absolutely delighted to have the news that Josh Owen has been appointed the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design at RIT’s Vignelli Centre, to succeed his notable predecessor Professor R. Roger Remington. Having met Josh at the Centre’s opening in 2010 and followed his superb work at RIT since then, I know he will use this opportunity to promote and develop the unique design legacy Massimo and Lella have left for all of us to learn and benefit from.

“I look forward to the continuing and expanding relationship between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA and the Vignelli Centre to reach larger audiences of both students, established designers and most importantly to involve industry in the development of the Vignelli goal of ‘better design for a better world.’ My Trust and I are both proud and privileged to have supported this project from its beginning into its future and wish Josh great success.”   

Patricia Moore ’74 (industrial design), internationally renowned designer, gerontologist and author: “Josh is uniquely qualified to follow Roger Remington’s esteemed tenure and inaugural leadership. Having worked tirelessly for the successful launch of the Vignelli Center, Josh has been a constant source of support for its programs and special events, making him a particularly well-positioned candidate to continue the dream of Massimo and Lella in selecting RIT for their renowned archive and the advancement of design studies. Josh is a rare polymath. Gifted mentor and teacher, distinguished professional designer, and earnest colleague. The role of design has been made even more essential to global quality of life by the pandemic. RIT is key in addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow, with the breadth of purpose and potential presented by the Vignelli Center.”