Fred Dust


IDEO Partner Fred Dust talks about the evolution of Design Thinking over time and how it can be applied to architecture and built environments. Through personal anecdotes and

examples from iconic IDEO projects, Fred Dust will show how human centered design tools such as prototyping can help architects do better and more impactful work.


Fred Dust works with leaders and change agents to unlock the creative potential of business, government, educational, and philanthropic organizations. A partner at IDEO, the acclaimed international design firm, and a senior leader of IDEO's New York office, Fred is a leading voice and practitioner of human-centered design and networked innovation.

Fred works with organizations confronting significant disruption stemming from shifts in consumer behavior and social trends, new technology, and regulatory and economic pressures. He advises a range of new and old media companies, public and private, on confronting massive shifts in the competitive landscape. In the financial sector, Fred has guided leading banks and insurance providers as well as government institutions such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the US Agency for International Development, the US Office of Personnel Management, and the US Social Security Administration, establishing citizen-centered strategies and structures to implement them. As a board member and senior advisor, he collaborates closely with non-profit and philanthropic foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to create new frameworks for engaging with stakeholders to improve the impact of their programs.

Fred is a frequently requested speaker, advisor, and lecturer. He currently serves on's Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees for the Sundance Institute, the Board of Directors at The New School, the Board of Governors at Parsons, and the Board of Directors at Community Solutions. He lectures widely on various topics, including design methodology, future trends, and social innovation. He holds numerous guest professor positions, and has taught classes at California College of the Arts and at the University of California, Berkeley School of Environmental Design. Fred holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Reed College and a master's in architecture from the School of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining IDEO, Fred was a project architect at Fernau & Hartman, where he worked on retail and corporate projects, such as the Smith & Hawken headquarters and retail prototype and Oxygen Media. He also spent eight years working in the art world with major organizations (Hotwire Productions, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Galería de la Raza, and others) and independent artists, supervising the development of interactive art installations and assisting in the production of film video projects.

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fred dust