Google talks design at KPU Richmond

Wed, Jan 27, 2016

Richmond, B.C. – The Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will launch the Design Futures Speaker Series this Thursday by welcoming Google to its Richmond campus.

Based at the company’s California headquarters, Jorge Furuya brings a background in industrial design and ethnographic-inspired research to his current role, where he leads design efforts around some of Google’s Android platform initiatives.

"Design is fundamentally a creative activity that aims to humanize our tools, it feeds on cultural interactions between people and I am looking forward to see what our dialogue leads to," said Furuya, who will discuss the power of the design process, and its impact on the end user’s experience of a product.

Furuya is the first of a slate of international design innovators, researchers and practitioners expected to speak at KPU throughout 2016 and beyond. Following Furuya are Bruce Corson, principal at Studio for Pre-Expert Creativity, and Jennifer Sarich-Harvey, interaction designer at IDEO Boston, who will be presenting in February and March, respectively.

“Initially, the idea of this speaker series began within one program. It quickly extended out and transformed into an interdisciplinary initiative,” said Victor Martinez, product design instructor and researcher at the Wilson School of Design.

“We are confident that inviting these industry experts from around the world will provide our students with the realization that the world of design outside of Vancouver is immense and exciting and that we must continue to connect with it,” he added.

All speakers will provide a one-hour, engaging dialogue as well as a 30-minute Q&A period. The goal of each event will be to facilitate the exchange of ideas between designers, students, local industry and the greater design community.

The Design Futures Speaker Series is made possible through the Vision Execution Fund, graciously provided by Chip and Shannon Wilson, which supports faculty and students in organizing events that resonate, inspire, and extend understandings and design capacity.

Attendance to Thursday’s event at KPU Richmond (8771 Lansdowne Rd.) is free and open to the public. The event runs from 6:30-8 p.m. and tickets must be reserved. For more information, visit

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

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