Jerry Kathman Reflects on the Legacy of Design Management Institute’s Earl Powell

13 May 2013
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Jerry Kathman

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Earl Powell late last week. For those of you who didn’t know Earl, he guided the Design Management Institute from its early days as a small, single-conference organization to the global research, publishing and educational powerhouse it is today.

During Earl Powell’s two-decade service as president, he did much to advance the prominence of design management in business. He created the TRIAD Design Project in collaboration with Harvard Business School, launched the Design Management Review and wrote a series of design management case studies, which were introduced to business school curriculums worldwide by Harvard Business School Publishing.

In 2002, the University of Westminster granted him an honorary Doctor of Letters. He retired from full-time management of DMI at the end of 2005.

I met Earl Powell early in my career. Our friendship grew, and eventually he asked if I would serve on the Design Management Institute’s Board of Trustees. Just this year, I was appointed the Chairman of the DMI Board. I will forever be indebted to Earl.