Hello, I’m Jane Fulton Suri

Partner Emeritus and Executive Design Director

As one of IDEO’s pioneering generation, these days I’m a global nomad, engaging with new leaders and teams in our California, Cambridge, London and Tokyo studios. I work at the core and edge: maintaining IDEO's human-centered focus and exploring new and inspiring ways to tackle contemporary challenges.

What you you won’t learn from my bio: 
Weekends find me cross-legged on the floor, sharpening wood knives and chisels, often under the watchful eye of the Japanese master carver who’s teaching me woodblock printing in the ukiyo-e tradition.

Joined IDEO:
ID Two in 1987; merging later to become IDEO

Full Bio

Jane Fulton Suri is Partner Emeritus and Executive Design Director at IDEO. She is dedicated to sustaining and evolving design insight and inspiration. And, working variously in Tokyo, Cambridge, and California, she focuses on growing future creative leaders.

Jane came to IDEO with a background in psychology and architecture and the ambition to bring social science-based perspectives to design practice. Working on diverse challenges for clients in multiple industries, she pioneered human-centered approaches and fostered a collaborative community of kindred spirits, including designers, anthropologists, and others. She evolved techniques for empathic observation and experience prototyping that are now employed widely in the design and innovation of products, services, and environments, as well as systems, organizations, and strategies. Jane went on to co-lead IDEO’s global Consumer Experience practice, and then became IDEO’s Chief Creative Officer.

To increase the accessibility of human-centered tools, Jane coauthored and published IDEO’s Method Cards. She also created Thoughtless Acts? Observations on Intuitive Design (Chronicle Books, 2005), a collection of snapshots that depict the subtle and creative ways in which people interact with the world. Jane believes that everyone is creative and resourceful at heart — and we mutually benefit from tapping into that capacity. As designers face increasingly complex and systemic challenges, she has been looking beyond human behavior to explore how patterns in nature and living systems may inform and inspire design. She is an instructor for the IDEO U Insights for Innovation course and published IDEO’s Little Book of Design Research Ethics.

Jane is a popular public speaker: she addresses design and business audiences, and has taught at the California College of the Arts, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley, and other schools internationally. Her work has won design and research awards, including Industrial Designers Society of America and Industrie Form Europe, and she holds several patents for design innovations.

Published Work

March 2016 
"The Little Book of Design Research Ethics," IDEO

January 2014 
"Empathy on the Edge," IDEO

October 2011 
"Jane Fulton Suri: What Nature Can Teach Us About Design," TEDxWWF

February 2011 
"Q&A: Biomimicry," Metropolis Magazine

January 2011 
"Poetic Observation: What Designers Make of What They See," Design Anthropology

May 2010 
"Developing Design Sensibilities," Rotman Magazine

November 2008 
"Informing Our Intuition: Design Research for Radical Innovation," Rotman Magazine

March 2007 
"Prototypes as (Design) Tools for Behavioral and Organizational Change: A Design-Based Approach to Help Organizations Change Work Behaviors," The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science

September 2006 
"Going Deeper, Seeing Further: Enhancing Ethnographic Interpretations to Reveal More Meaningful Opportunities for Design," Journal of Advertising Research

August 2005 
"Insights from 'Thoughtless Acts'," BusinessWeek

March 2005 
"Thoughtless Acts?," IDEO