Hari Nair, Chief Design Officer, Whirlpool Corporation
Hari has a global footprint as a design practitioner and educator with extensive experience creating substantial business results through design. As the Chief Design Officer of Whirlpool China, he is driving a comprehensive design strategy developing and cultivating product excellence in sync with the corporate integration process, brought about by a major corporate acquisition in China.
Previously, he played the visionary role as the Global Director of Advanced Design at Whirlpool, in Chicago. The Advanced Design studio developed design concepts leveraging technology and innovation in sync with lifestyle trends and emerging needs of the consumer, delivering ‘desirable’ products for the home of the future.
Hari built three out of the seven design studios, in Chicago, Shanghai and New Delhi, hiring talent globally for Whirlpool. He played a pivotal role in the introduction of a strong design process in concert with business strategy, delivering a series of highly successful products out of these studios. The products have won numerous awards including the Edison Award for Social Impact, and numerous ‘Good Design’,’iF’, ‘iF China’, ‘Design for Asia’ and ‘Spark’ Awards.
As a design consultant, Hari has been instrumental in delivering strategic change at Hasbro, Polaroid, and Swarovski, among others. His interest in design for education led to the establishment of Techmediator in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which offered technology integration services to MIT OpenCourseware, ITT Education and other academic institutions. He has presented papers at IDSA, EDUCOM, SIGGRAPH and various international conferences and serves on many design juries and panels.
As an educator at the University of Cincinnati and Rhode Island School of Design, Hari Nair has been instrumental in enhancing the design process through digital integration. In addition to a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Hari Nair holds Master’s degrees in industrial design from Syracuse University, New York and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay