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A Message from the Dean

A Message from the Dean

A moment of transition

Dear ID community: 

We write to you in a moment of transition: from 2021 to 2022, from one deanship to another, and from considering Institute of Design as a graduate school called an institute to considering it truly as an institute—and one that contains a preeminent graduate school. 

At this time of transition, let’s take a moment to, together, understand where we’ve been and where we’re going. 



First, 2021. Despite the ongoing pandemic, 2021 has been a year of progress and accomplishment at ID. Our students
returned to in-person classes. They continue to be recognized by awards from Fast Company (three years in a row), Core77, and in the esteemed Rotman competition.

Our faculty continue to break new ground, including at the intersection of design and business, design and behavioral science, and design and healthcare. With a range of specializations, ID faculty are consistently working to achieve equity, bring an anti-racist approach, and think critically about the future. And we are expanding our presence, including through a partnership with the New European Bauhaus and our new With Intent podcast. 

Less visibly, ID faculty and staff have been working to lay the groundwork for the future of ID. This has been central to Denis Weil’s term as dean since he started at ID in 2017. Denis’s own expertise in distributed governance means that, to our collective benefit, ID leadership has been an integral part of charting the path to ID’s future. With his departure, we are now primed and ready to navigate that path. 

In the coming months, we will have additional news related to that path. That path, in a nutshell, is an institute-first model for ID in which we more fully and expansively commit to our belief in the power of design to shape leaders and the future. Our leading graduate school will continue to provide excellent instruction, while we work to bring design to ever greater audiences through an ID Academy providing team-focused continuing education and an ID Action Lab working with the private and public sectors to make real change that people want and need. 

As ever, we here at ID continue to celebrate our great ID traditions—the International Food Fest and Commencement among them—as well as not only welcome, but actively usher in, the new.

Please join us in celebrating this moment of transition: from 2021 to 2022, from graduate school to institute, and from the deanship of Denis Weil to the interim deanship of longtime faculty member Anijo Mathew

Cheers to greeting the future as not a problem to solve, but an opportunity to invent. 

Denis Weil 
Dean, Institute of Design, 2017–2021

Anijo Mathew
Interim Dean, Institute of Design, 2022