Jon Otis, principal and creative director of Object Inc., a multidisciplinary design studio and design strategy agency, is this year’s Executive in Residence in the Department of Design and Merchandising. The Executive and Residence program annually brings an industry leader to campus to share expertise with students and faculty.
Otis will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Room A103 of the Chemistry Building. His presentation is titled “Unleashing the Power of Design Engagement.” The event is free and open to the public.
Otis was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Milan, Italy, in 1985. He worked with industrial designer DePas D’Urbino Lomazzi in designing furniture, lighting and exhibitions before he worked with legendary designer Ettore Sottsass at Sottsass Associati. There, his projects included the Enorme telephone, Brion Vega televisions, Esprit showrooms and stores, fashion showrooms and furniture projects.
He also was a studio director with Mancini Duffy in New York City and was charged with designing offices and showrooms for Calvin Klein Cosmetics and Teknion Systems Furniture.
Before founding Object Inc. in 1999, he formed The Moderns design studio and won numerous design awards for showroom and exhibition design. The work has been published extensively in design journals.
Otis is also currently an interior design and exhibition design professor at Pratt Institute. He was recognized as one the most admired design educators in 2009 by Design Intelligence Journal.
The department’s Executive in Residence program alternates each year between interior design and apparel and merchandising. The program brings executives to campus to provide perspective on the future of their field, expand students’ perceptions of career opportunities, encourage students to be proactive about their career paths, provide input to curriculum planning and assist the department in expanding its external networks.
The Department of Design and Merchandising is in the College of Applied Human Sciences.