index lisbeth juulFOTO:  Jasper Carlberg 2009


John Heskett was born in Coventry in England in 1937.

He received his education at The London Schools of Economics.

From this outset, John became maybe the most influential person ever within design education through his teaching and books.

John Heskett served as Chair Professor of Design at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, after serving fifteen years as Professor of Design at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. John has also served as visiting professor in Denmark, Turkey, Chile, Germany, Japan and Finland.

He is the author of Industrial Design, (1980), widely used as a basic textbook on design courses in many countries and subsequently translated into several languages; German Design 1870-1918, (1987); and Philips: A Study in Corporate Design (1989).

His most recent books are Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life, published by Oxford University Press in 2002, Design: A Very Short Introduction (2002); and Designed in Hong Kong (2004). He also contributes articles, essays and reviews to numerous magazines, anthologies and catalogues.

A large part of his research is focused on business applications for design, with a particular interest in how design creates (and not just adds) economic value, with particular emphasis on industry in the Pearl River Delta of China, and the role of this in design policy in governments and corporations.

Other areas of interest include the relationship between design and innovation, the problems of successfully changing the nature of markets, and the problems of designing for global markets.

John Heskett has worked as a consultant for business and governments around the world, as a member of the INDEX: Award Jury since 2004 and as a board member of CIID since 2007.

John passed away on February 25th, 2014.

John Heskett was married to Pamela Heskett. He had two children and six grand-children.