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Interview with John Maeda (VIDEO)

Last week we had John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design and author of "The Laws of Simplicity" in the frog San Francisco studio. John presented to a group of RISD alumni and frogs about how the school is responding and influencing the world around it, as well as to update us on an initiative he is spearheading called "STEM to STEAM". STEM represents a movement to refocus education in the United States on the specific fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM to STEAM seeks to add Art to that formula, something I entirely agree on. The problems that will challenge us in the decades to come will not be the same as yesterday. Creativity is not a silver bullet, but coupling it with our more traditional focus on left brain learning will surely yield new results.

Before the presentation, I sat down with John in our studio library and we talked about what he is passionate about, as well as trading a few RISD stories. There are several RISD alum at frog spread throughout the world including Executive Creative Director Nick de la Mare (MID'95), and Creative Director Jonas Damon (BFA'93 ID). I myself am an alum (BFA'98 ID). Check out the video, which is a bit of a sneak peak into the type of content that will be covered in Designmind's upcoming "Passion" issue, and please, support STEM to STEAM!

As a Creative Director at frog, Michael DiTullo has designed products for a wide array of industries including housewares, consumer electronics, automotive, medical robotics, fashion and performance footwear. Michael is also a weekly contributor to Core77, a global design magazine and resource. You can follow Michael on Twitter @michael_ditullo.