John Heskett 1937 – 2014

John Heskett was an economist with a passion for design.

Most of his work focused on understanding the way design can make a remarkable economic impact both in industry and society in general. John has been one of the most influential people in design education – as a teacher and by formulating radically new design curricula in different academic institutions across the US, Asia and Europe. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hong Kong government for his contribution to design.

John was part of the CIID advisory board since our very first days and he enjoyed attending some of the students final exams and exhibitions. Some of his most recent advice for CIID was to build on our extended network of clients, alumni and researchers to create a network-based identity and impact around the world. We are so proud to have been able to include John as one of the pioneers of that network – to spend time with him, and to learn from his many words of wisdom.

John died on February 25, 2014, after a long and determined fight for life. His life is a testament to integrity, friendship and generosity.

There is a website in John’s honour, as a way to collect and share his work and stories:

We celebrate his life and suggest a donation to the Hospice Center ( in his name in lieu of other remembrances.