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Carlos Teixeira

Charles L. Owen Professor of Systems Design and PhD Program Director

“Most people are thinking about systems at the macro and meso level, but not at the micro level. Designers have the unique ability of understanding product, service, and communications as they happen at the activity level in daily life.”


Carlos Teixeira is the Charles L. Owen Professor in Design at the Institute of Design (ID), where he focuses on Systems Design and teaches graduate courses and advises doctoral students on the strategic use of design capabilities in complex spaces of innovation. He is also director of the PhD program and the Sustainable Solutions Action Lab.

Carlos is the founder of ORGE Innovation Consulting, which advises global leaders in organizations on how to build the know-how to innovate through design capabilities and strategies.

Carlos received a doctorate in design from ID in 2002. Previous to his PhD, he received a master’s and bachelor’s degree in design from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Before joining ID in 2016, Carlos served as a faculty member at Parsons School of Design in New York (2003–09), where he was instrumental in developing undergraduate and graduate programs in strategic design and transdisciplinary design. In 2014 he received the Distinguished Teaching Award by The New School for his innovative pedagogy in graduate design studios and projects.

Activities at ID

Carlos’s research interests include the areas of design strategy, open innovation, and sustainable solutions. The central question of his current research is, “How can design affect the lives and wellbeing of people and communities by leveraging the interconnectivity of markets, technology, environment, finance, and social networks?” In 2019 Carlos received a $100,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation for the Flag Calumet research project, part of a partnership between ID and the Calumet Cooperative.

Speaking and Publishing

Carlos’s invited panel sessions and speaking roles include “Repurposing Vacated Spaces in Post-Industrial Cities” (COINs17: Resilience through COINs, Detroit, Michigan, 2017); “Designing Sustainable Systems Solutions” (Design Management Academy Conference, Hong Kong, 2017); “Design Strategy and Problem-based Learning in Complex Spaces of Innovation” (keynote speaker, PBL2016 International Conference, São Paulo, Brazil, 2016); and “Design Strategy in Complex Spaces of Innovation” (keynote speaker, 3rd Coloquio Nacional de Investigación para el Diseño, Bogota, Columbia, 2017). His research and writing have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Design Studies and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management. He was guest editor for She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics and Innovation, on the theme of Transforming Design Matters (2017) and for Design Strategies on the theme of Designing for Billions (2013). He received the Game Changer award by Metropolis magazine in 2013 for his work on the DREAM:IN Project, developing open innovation platforms for designing sustainable solutions in India, Brazil, and China.

Recent Work

Nogueira, A., W. Ashton, and Carlos Teixeira. 2019. “Expanding Perceptions of the Circular Economy through Design: Eight Capitals as Innovation Lenses.” Resources, Conservation & Recycling 149 (October): 566–76. DOI:

Mata Garcia, A. Deserti, and Carlos Teixeira. 2017. “Entrepreneurial Design: The Role of Design as Driver of Entrepreneurial Opportunity Generation and Assessment.” International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management 21 (1/2): 64–85.

Teixeira, Carlos, guest ed. 2017. Special issue, “Transforming Design Matters.” She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 3, no. 1 (Spring).

Teixeira, Carlos, Z. Shafieyoun, J. A. Rosa, C. Jun, H. Li, X. Xu, and X. Chen. 2017. “Structures of Time in Design Thinking.” In Analysing Design Thinking: Studies of Cross-Cultural Co-Creation. Bo T. Christensen, Linden J. Ball, and Kim Halskov, eds. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.

J. Forlizzi, E. Stolterman, Carlos Teixeira, and J. Zimmerman. 2016. “A New North American Design Research Organization.” Dialectic 1 (1): 14­–17.

Teixeira, Carlos. 2016. “National Design Policies: John Heskett and Design Policy.” In A John Heskett Reader: Design, History, Economics. Clive Dilnot, ed. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Teixeira, Carlos, guest ed. 2013. Special issue,  “Designing for Billions.” Journal of Design Strategies 6, no. 1 (Spring).