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Martin Linder

San Francisco, California, United States


Member since May 12, 2009

Martin Linder

Professor Martin Linder has worked as an industrial designer and educator for over two decades. Martin initially received national prominence for his award-winning designs during his graduate studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Martin has focused his design work on the creation of interfaces which enhance airport security. His innovative work with InVision Technologies and Reveal Imaging explosive detection programs are utilized in airports throughout the world. Martin was recently rewarded for his design innovations in explosive detection equipment with a 2006 Industrial Design Excellence Award sponsored by Business Week Magazine.

His professional furniture designs have been exhibited throughout the United States for the entirety of his career, most notably at Knoll/Design America., Steelcase's Metro Furniture and Herman Miller’s Brandrud Furniture. His furniture designs have received both ADEX and S.P.E.C awards.

Publications featuring Linder's professional work include the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Chicago Sun Times, Progressive Architecture, Interiors, Architectural Digest and TV's 20/20.

In addition to his success as an industrial designer, Martin has also distinguished himself as a design educator. San Francisco State University has awarded Martin the 2009 Outstanding Community Service Learning Award that acknowledges “Exemplary Practice in Community-Based Teaching”, the 2008 Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Distinguished Faculty Award, awarded to a faculty member for “Extraordinary, Meaningful, and Lasting Contributions to Teaching”. He was also named one of the "Most Admired Design Professors" in Academia by Design Intelligence. After fifteen years of teaching at both the San Francisco Academy of Art and California College of Art in various facets of their design programs, Professor Linder came to San Francisco State University (SFSU). He teaches industrial and interface design, rapid prototyping technologies, design education and design management. His students have won international research and design awards including the Industrial Design Excellence Award, and hold key design positions at companies including Nike, Steelcase, IDEO, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, and Michael Graves Design.

As an academic, Martin has transitioned his professional experience into three distinct SFSU university institutes, iDo, TROI and FITS. Martin founded the Industrial Design Outreach program (iDo) which reaches out to public school teenagers in the bay area who are inspired by hands-on, tactile, experiential learning. iDo is a nationally recognized program. Recently the iDo Community Bench Project has been selected for display at the San Francisco De Young Museum and was featured on the Cover of the San Francisco Chronicle News paper. The Furniture Institute of Technology and Sustainability (FITS) utilize Martin's expertise in furniture design through industry partnerships (Steelcase/Metro Furniture) in research and furniture design projects. FITS current research has focused on collaborative work for the knowledge worker and the building of an extensive sustainable material data base. Martin also established and directs the Threat Resolution Optimization Institute (TROI) which provides research and design solutions to companies and governmental agencies in the area of explosive detection equipment utilizing advanced imaging technologies. These organizations have generated substantial funding at SFSU providing research opportunities to faculty and students.

Martin is an active writer and presenter on topics including Design Education, Technologies and Rituals that Impact Collaboration for the Knowledge Worker, Risk, Experimentation, and Innovation, and Industrial and Interface Design for Explosive Detection Airport Security Systems.

iDo The iDo program is a direct response to the lack of design course offerings in United States public high schools. Most public high school students have not been exposed to design or its' methodologies. Consequently, most students are unaware of potential benefits of incorporating design methodologies in any curriculum subject matter.

iDo promotes the field of design and uses design methodologies to enhance the education of both high school and university students. iDo is committed to delivering the program free of charge at high schools during in class and after school programs. Through hands-on interdisciplinary projects iDo provides high-school students with experiences that foster curiosity, promote creativity, and build self-confidence. Through these learning outcomes, students gain a framework that can be applied to almost any creative discipline. By developing and delivering design curriculum to high-school students, university students gain experiences that promote teamwork, enhance communication, organization, and presentation skills. University students are also provided a forum to give back to their community. The expanding core of retired design professionals whom donate their time to mentoring the college and high school students gain tremendous satisfaction as they witness the passing of their knowledge onto younger generations of potential designers. The program has been successfully launched at many high schools over the course of five year. iDo has reached over 500 secondary school students. Over 75 university students have participated as mentors, and a growing pool of professionals and industry experts are benefiting from their contributions to the program.

International Initiative The iDo International Initiative will seek to connect SF State university faculty and students with university faculty and students from other nation(s) in the common goal of delivering design curriculum to an international audience of high school students. The result of this initiative will be the creation of an iDo international community that will benefit participants through the facilitated exchange of cultural identities, creative approaches, and personal values.

Community Bench Project Projects have included the design and fabrication of product packaging, illustrated books, musical instruments, lighting, and apparel. The current Industrial Design Outreach program project, the Community Bench, introduces high school students to the design and fabrication of a bench. This product integrates ergonomic, semiotic, and manufacturing subject matter into cohesive hands on learning experience. Sophomore, junior, and senior school students are trained in computer design programs, rapid model making and prototyping, and usage of power equipment in the fabrication of final parts manufactured from plywood and veneer materials. Portions of the bench will be manufactured within the universities computer numeric control manufacturing system, providing high school students the opportunity to witness advanced technology in the realization of their design. The 2008-2009 Community Bench project has been gifted to Mayor Gavin Newsome for permanent placement at the San Francisco City Hall. Mayor Newsom said about the program: “By bringing art into the classroom, iDo provides an engaging educational experience and builds confidence in students,” Mayor Newsom said. “I am honored to support these students’ hard work and creative expression. I hope displaying their bench in the Mayor’s office inspires all those who see it to learn more about this worthwhile program.” The project will also be highlighted at the Young at Art exhibit at the San Francisco De Young Museum.

Design is about caring for yourself, others, and the world around you.

Contact Martin Linder
Industrial Design Outreach

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design