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Industrial design professor to lead RIT Vignelli Center

Messenger Post Media
Josh Owen.

Designer, author and faculty researcher Josh Owen recently was selected to lead the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Owen succeeds R. Roger Remington, founding director of the international resource for design that houses the archive of the late Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Remington retired after 57 years at RIT.

The search was led by Todd Jokl, dean of the College of Art and Design.

“Josh Owen’s career in the profession and in education exemplifies the power of design to better the world in many ways,” Jokl said. “Just as Roger Remington was the perfect champion to found and lead the Vignelli Center through its first decade, Josh comes into this position with a unique mix of leadership skills, ambition and networking to advance and expand the center’s reach and programming in the decades ahead.”

Owen said he is “honored and grateful that both my colleagues and RIT’s leadership felt that I was the right fit to lead the Vignelli Center. I also recognize the substantial responsibility of ensuring that the Vignelli Center grows as a global beacon for good design.”

The Vignelli Center is marking a decade since its establishment in 2010 — the same year Owen arrived on the RIT campus. This year’s Metaproject, which pairs RIT student designers with a real-world client partner in what became a seminal project for industrial design students who exhibit their projects at Design Week in New York City, marked a celebratory collaboration by honoring the 10th anniversary of the course and Vignelli Center.

“Roger was one of the reasons I accepted the offer to join RIT in the first place a decade ago,” Owen said. “In the 10 years since our first meeting, Roger has become a colleague, mentor and friend. We have collaborated on countless projects galvanized by the Vignelli Center, and he has been generous in sharing his process and passion with me. I am looking forward to his continued camaraderie as I transition into the role and onward.”

Remington said he is delighted to pass the directorship baton to Owen.

“I am confident that the Vignelli Center for Design Studies will flourish in this next phase of its evolution,” he said. “Having worked closely with Josh on Vignelli Center programming for many years, I am delighted to pass the leadership torch to him. I look forward to being part of this growth and supporting our new director and Vignelli professor.”