Profile image for Ken Friedman

Ken Friedman

University Distinguished Professor


DSc, honoris causa, 2007. Loughborough University. For outstanding contributions to design research. FDRS, 2006. Fellow of the Design Research Society. PhD, 1976. Graduate School of Human Behaviour, Alliant International University. BA, MA 1971, San Francisco State University

Ken Friedman is University Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. He is also Guest Professor at the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation and a Fellow of The Policy Lab of Boston, Massachusetts. Friedman is Chief Investigator of Capacity Mapping for Integrative Design, a Flagship Collaborative Fund project for the Future Manufacturing Flagship of CSIRO, the Australian Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation.

In 2007, Friedman was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Design at Swinburne, a position he held through 2012. He has worked with national design policy in Australia, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Wales, and state design policy in Victoria. He was Advisor to the Federal Interdepartmental Committee for the Design Policy Scoping Process for the Office of the Arts in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and served as Co-Chair of the International Advisory Group for DesignGov, the Australian Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design. Friedman helped to establish The Swinburne Design Factory and the Design Factory Global Network.

Ken Friedman works at the intersection of three fields: design, management, and art. He has developed international research networks and conferences in design research. He is an editorial board member of Design Studies, International Journal of Design, and Design and Culture, Visible Language, and the International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation. He is also is an editor of the Journal of Design Research and the journal Artifact. Friedman is a Council Member of the Design Research Society and a member of the executive board of The Interaction Design Foundation.

In 2007, Loughborough University honored Friedman with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for outstanding contributions to design research. The award citation by Public Orator Tony Hodgson appears at:

Summer 2007 Oration - Professor Ken Friedman

In 1990, Friedman created the first course in strategic design in Europe for the Oslo Business School, one of the first in the world. From 1994 to 2009, he was Professor of Leadership and Strategic Design at the Norwegian School of Management, where he worked on the knowledge economy, culture, and leadership. From 2003 to 2009, he held a research appointment at Denmark's Design School and the Danish Design Research Center in Copenhagen.

Ken Friedman is also a practicing artist and designer, active in the international laboratory of art, design, and music known as Fluxus. He had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1966. His work is represented in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and Stadtsgalerie Stuttgart. The University of Iowa Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts is the official repository of Friedman's papers and research notes. The Silverman Fluxus Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, Archiv Sohm at Stadtsgalerie Stuttgart and the Mandeville Department of Special Collections at the University of California also hold extensive archives on Friedman's work of the 1960s and 1970s.

Selected publications at

Ken Friedman Articles and Papers

Research interests

Design education; Design theory; Design research

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Design History And Theory - 120301
  • Other Built Environment And Design - 129900
  • Other Studies In Human Society - 169900


Also published as: Friedman, Ken; Friedman, K.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2013: Capacity Mapping for Integrative Design *; CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Research Fund - Future Manufacturing - Innovation: Accelerating the path to impact
  • 2012: Design and Art Australia Online: Sustainable data sharing for Australian researchers and collections *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2012: Development of the DHS Design Framework *; Department of Human Services - Contracts

* Chief Investigator