Carnegie Mellon University

Bruce Hanington

Bruce Hanington

Professor & Head, School of Design

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Bruce Hanington was appointed Head of the School of Design effective June 1, 2019. Prior to that, he was Director of Graduate Studies from 2011 and from 2003-2005. He was Program Chair of Industrial Design from 2005-2011. He has also overseen the School of Design Executive Education team since 2017.

Bruce's core teaching has included How People Work, Research Methods for Design, Design Principles and Practices, and The Meaning of Form (Industrial Design Studio). Bruce has dedicated his teaching and research to methods and practices for human centered design, with an emphasis on design ethnography, participatory design, and the meaning of form in context. Through the School's Executive Education offerings, Bruce has taught various design thinking workshops and micro courses to Tepper MBA students, the Heinz College, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Highmark, The Pittsburgh Food Bank, and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).

Bruce’s past projects include work with GE conducting research on the design of human-centered appliances, and Johnson & Johnson researching design opportunities to enhance prescription skin care compliance among teens. He was also a co-investigator on a project assessing use and behavior patterns in the graduate design studio as a learning environment.

Bruce has presented papers on human-centered design and design for human experience at international conferences of the Design Research Society (DRS), The International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), and Design & Emotion. His work has been published in Design Issues, The Design Journal, and Interactions, with chapters in Designing Inclusive Futures, and Design and Emotion: The Experience of Everyday Things. He has recent book chapters in Affective Sciences in Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction, and The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Bruce is co-author of the book Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions, written with Master of Design alum Bella Martin. Universal Methods has been published in nine languages, a pocket edition, and a forthcoming second edition expanded to include 125 methods, due in October 2019.

Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Design in Industrial Design and a BA in Applied Psychology, both from the University of Calgary, Canada.