Gillian Crampton Smith

Visiting Faculty
Nationality: British

Having studied philosophy and history of art at Cambridge University, Gillian Crampton Smith spent the 1970s as a designer – first in book publishing, then on the Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement. In 1981, she designed and programmed a page-layout program to help her with magazine design – an early desktop publishing application. This experience convinced her that artists and designers have an important role to play in creating information technologies.

After teaching at Central and St Martin’s in London, she joined the Royal College of Art in 1989, where she built the Computer Related Design programme. Under her guidance, the CRD Research Studio achieved an international reputation as a leading centre for interaction design, supported by a wide range of other industrial and government sponsors in Britain and overseas. During this time she spent her summers in Silicon Valley working first for Apple Computer and then for Interval Research.

In 2000 she was invited to Ivrea (Olivetti’s hometown) to set up Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, a graduate school and research institution sponsored by Telecom Italia and Olivetti. After five years in Ivrea she and Philip Tabor moved to IUAV, Venice, to develop a graduate programme in interaction design at the university’s faculty of design.