John Marshall, Ph.D., M.A., M.F.A.

Associate Professor
Art & Design


Dr. Marshall’s creative and scholarly work is design research that results in both exhibitions and publications. Marshall’s research interests include: digital fabrication, tangible user interfaces, design methods, problem-based learning and communication between cross-disciplinary design teams. Marshall’s studio practice involves a recursive process where multiple stakeholders work together to realize shared goals. Since joining University of Michigan in 2008, Marshall has collaborated with both a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon - although not at the same time.

  • Ph.D., Design and Technology, The Robert Gordon University
  • M.A., Art as Environment, The Manchester Metropolitan University
  • M.F.A., Sculpture, The Ohio State University
  • B.A., Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art

U-M Academic Affiliation(s)

Featured Member Profile

What are you thinking about?

As the program director of the Stamps Master of Design in Integrative Design (MDes) program I hope to work together, with, and for faculty from across IHPI with my graduate students. Over the course of the two-year graduate program, each MDes cohort forms a pro-bono integrative design firm of sorts, collaborating as a team on hands-on projects alongside our stakeholders, partners, and constituents. We are particularly interested in opportunities to bring and share our human-centered design methods to clinical settings.

Why is this interesting to you?

Design is a process by which aesthetic, cultural, social, technical and economic potential is imagined and then translated to give order to objects, environments and activities. Typically, we live with the lingering impression of design from the Industrial Revolution, where it was deployed to make engineered artifacts culturally, socially, economically, symbolically, and practically acceptable to a mass market. We are living in a moment when the domain of design has expanded beyond this condition. This has created new opportunities for trained designers to initiate and contribute to meaningful social change. However, this will require humility and the creation of new models of collaboration.

What are the practical implications for healthcare?

Designers have a lot to offer. We can help our partners establish patient-centered goals and needs, develop coherent visions for change, facilitate participation with different stakeholders, prototype iterative experiments aimed at organizational change, and draw upon a large toolbox of different methods to address wicked problems.

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