Kevin Lair is an interdisciplinary designer whose work focuses on the integration of design, innovation and entrepreneurship. He holds degrees in Fine Arts and Psychology from Drake University and a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University. At the Indiana University he is fostered a comprehensive design education and developing design research through strategic prototypes. His mission is to promote design thinking, disciplinary re-structuring, and coalition building in community design activism. His design practice is focusing on applications for building innovation capacity in the design of organizations, services, and new ventures. In 2013, he co-created and organized the (d) design symposium at the Kelley School of Business and IUCA+D in Indiana University. The purpose of the event was to explore ways in which design sensibilities and methods are a catalyst for innovation and can build innovation capacity in a community, organization or individual. At (d) design, industry leaders, academics and those considered typically outside the easily recognized boundaries of design practice engaged in open discussion in which threads emerged across divergent explorations, practices, and disciplines.
His academic appointments include Iowa State University, Syracuse University and Indiana University. Most recently Professor Lair has been a project consultant for the Innovation Center at Columbus Regional Health (CRH) in Columbus, Indiana, where he has worked to conceptualize new projects, introduce methods for innovation and participate in project development. He incorporates “design thinking” to promote cross disciplinary innovation. While teaching at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, he created new courses: “Design Entrepreneurship,” “Ghana Deployable Healthcare Platform: Innovation Incubator” and “Factory Built Green - Resilient Communities, Sustainable Futures.” He received a Chancellor’s Leadership Project Award to co-develop collaborations between academic and community partners through the Syracuse Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development (SEED) and the development of the iBOX research group. He also received a Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship for courses fostering community activism and a Kauffman Foundation grant for green entrepreneurship. Lair created the conference BigE, co-founded Architecture for Humanity, IA and the Materials Design Research Group during his appointment at Iowa State University.
In addition he has extensive professional experience in new venture creation including co-leading the interdisciplinary design teams for the start-up ventures IS -Inspired Space, MOD-ECO, and Millennium Venture Group (MVG). Lair was a consortium member of WiGiT (Wireless Grids Innovation Testbed) from 2008 to 2014 and collaborator on a number of initiatives to help foster growth in peer-to-peer networking through WiGiT open specifications. He currently is the design director of “Edgeware and Things” focusing on user experiences and new venture creation.