Dan champions the “human” side of design - how design can affect our quality of life, drive performance and influence people’s behavior for the better.


For more than 30 years, Dan has brought the design process to life through his ever-evolving research methodologies and a deep understanding of people’s emotional and physical needs.


Dan plays a key role in cementing our reputation for designing product experiences that meet the needs of people with a wide range of abilities, especially at the edges of the spectrum—those with arthritis, dexterity, cognitive or vision problems. He mentors design teams to uncover the latent needs of consumers while keeping business objectives top of mind. In particular, he works with our Improving Health initiative to help identify ways of understanding and improving patient experiences across all touch points.


Dan is a sought-after lecturer and speaks around the world on design, research, and creating positive change through design. He was featured in the film, Objectified, and is also the recipient of numerous awards. He has worked with clients such as Ford Motors, HP, Johnson & Johnson,LG Electronics, Microsoft, OXO, and UCB to help them develop a variety of products and services. Dan earned a Bachelors degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse University and MA and PhD in Ergonomics and Biomechanics from New York University.


Follow him on Twitter: @danformosa

Dan’s Thoughts


In home healthcare it’s people, not products that count

Healthcare is not about the products that companies create – it is about the ultimate effect the product or service…

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WATCH: Smart Salon at the RCA: Can We Design a Better Patient?

Until last week we had never hosted a Smart Salon through our Barcelona office. So when the time came, it…

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Dissolving the barrier between patients and pharmacists

Pharmacists can readily improve patient outcomes. So why are drugstores designed to keep patient and pharmacist apart? Having long been…

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The future of home healthcare

A few months ago, I sat in on an interesting meeting with our design team and people from a medical…

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Style and substance

Design and patient behavior are inherently linked, and several elements come into the design process when developing a new user-driven…

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The sudden death of brands

A few weeks ago one of my students, Brian Gaffney, told me a story. He was standing in a movie…

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WATCH: Reducing glance time for the Ford SmartGauge

When Ford came to us to design an LCD based instrument cluster, we had an immediate (and we think innovative)…

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Why marketing research makes us cringe

The role of marketing research is to work with product or service consumers to understand their needs and desires, while…

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Ford SmartGauge: Designing an extra 9 MPG?

Working with Ford to develop an all-new instrument cluster for their 2010 hybrids, we suggested that the instrument cluster can…

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Social responsibility through design

Design can be a powerful force in our lives and have significant social impact. Every design project we undertake will…

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To accompany the release of its revolutionary Vista operating system Microsoft asked Smart Design to create a packaging structure that was…

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Mapping Emotions: Understanding what drive consumer decisions

Consumers crave “personal meaning” in products and services. To innovate, new methods are being developed to help designers understand the…

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Dan’s Talks

  • Oct 12, 2012

    Femme Den to speak at the Womens Forum Global Meeting 2012 in France

  • Jun 24, 2012

    Dan Formosa "Joins the Revolution" at the Dieline Package Design Conference in Boston

  • Jun 19, 2012

    Dan Formosa speaks at IDSA-NY's 2nd Annual The Tangible: Dead or Alive

  • May 16, 2012

    Dr. Dan Formosa and Carla Diana speak at TEDxDrexelU in Philadelphia

  • Oct 24, 2011

    "Universal Design: Experiencing Elderly Life" at IDA Congress

  • Oct 18, 2010

    Dan Formosa and Agnete Enga to speak at Design Forum in Kortrijk, Belgium

  • Jun 07, 2010

    Cincinnati's CAC and AIGA to host Dan Formosa and Objectified

  • May 20, 2010

    Sharing insights on Inclusive Design with the Norwegian Design Council...and a Princess!

  • Apr 27, 2010

    Smart Design to be featured at agIdeas 2010 international design week in Melbourne, Australia

  • Apr 08, 2010

    Dan Formosa set for keynote address at ASU's Third Annual "Exposed" Design Symposium

  • Mar 04, 2010

    RESCHEDULED for March 4th! Dan Formosa to be on Cooper-Hewitt's "Design for Humans" panel.

  • Sep 25, 2009

    Smart and IDEO present joint case study for IDSA Conference