Ravi Sawhney

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Ravi Kumar Sawhney is an American industrial designer. He is the founder and CEO of RKS Design, co-founder (with Dave Mason[1]) of RKS Guitars, and Chairperson of the IDSA/Business Week Catalyst[2] Case Study Program.[3]


Ravi Sawhney's parents immigrated from India to Canada in 1953, and Ravi was born April 16, 1956 in Nova Scotia, and moved to the United States in 1965. He started working as a designer and model maker in 1976 while studying at California State University, Northridge and Art Center College of Design. In 1978, he graduated CSUN and was hired by Xerox in the Advanced Product Development Group working in conjunction with Xerox PARC, where he was the sole industrial designer working with a team of 20 cognitive and social scientists to develop the first touch screen interface. He founded RKS Design, now known simply as RKS, in 1980. He has taught Senior Level Industrial Design at Art Center College of Design, and Junior and Senior Level Industrial Design at California State University, Northridge. He has been a featured lecturer at Anderson School of Business, U.C.L.A. & U.S.C., and holds an Honorary Ph.D. from Academy of Art University.[4] He created Psycho-Aesthetics, RKS's proprietary strategy and design philosophy.[citation needed] Ravi is an Expert Design blogger on FastCompany [5] In September 2009, Ravi was inducted into the Industrial Designers Society of America's Academy of Fellows.[6] Ravi Sawhney is also a member of the Dean's Executive Council at California Lutheran University's School of Management.

Honors and Appointments[edit]

  • Honorary doctorate from Academy of Art University for contributions to the art and design of music making[4]
  • Chairperson of IDSA/Business Week Catalyst award[citation needed]
  • 2004 Head Juror for the Industrial Design Excellence Awards[citation needed]
  • Member, Board of Directors, KOR Water, Inc [7]
  • Advisory Board, Guitar Center Music Foundation[8]
  • Board Member and Founding Trustee (past) - Pasadena Museum of California Art, and served as head juror of the museum's inaugural California Design Biennial exhibition.[citation needed]


Public Speaking[edit]

  • Interaction13 conference in Toronto, by the Interaction Design Association(IxDA): Opening keynote “Our Power toEmpower: the Satisfaction of Designing for Social Impact”[9]
  • International Design Forum, Singapore : Opening Keynote - “Design - What Every Business Needs. The Practical Application of Design for Successful Business Ventures”[10]
  • World Innovation Conference, Cannes, by B2B Europe: Opening Keynote “Understanding and Harnessing Emotional Connections Through Design”[11]
  • IP and Green Tech, Alexandria, by the United States Patent & Trademark Office: Opening Keynote “Innovation Today: Thoughts on Getting Creative, Navigating the IP Landscape and Protecting Things of Value – Patents and the Planet”[12]


  1. ^ "RKS Guitars, LLC: Private Company Information". Businessweek. Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  2. ^ "IDSA Catalyst Case Study Program: About". Idsacatalyst.org. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  3. ^ "IDSA Catalyst Case Study Program Review Panel". Idsacatalyst.org. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  4. ^ a b "Ravi Sawhney, FIDSA". Industrial Designers Society of America. 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Design Reach". FastCompany.com. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  6. ^ IDSA.org Academy of Fellows Archived October 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "KOR Water Appoints Peter van Stolk and Ravi Sawhney to its Board of Directors". korwater.com. 2009-02-19. Archived from the original on 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  8. ^ Guitar Center Music Foundation
  9. ^ http://www.ixda.org/node/33611
  10. ^ http://designtaxi.com/news/1360/Global-Design-Visionaries-Converge-for-International-Design-Forum-2005/
  11. ^ http://www.winovc.com/speakersarchive2011.html
  12. ^ http://diplomacymatters.org/programs/ip_greentech/bios.php

External links[edit]