José Manuel dos Santos, Head of Design & User Experience/Americas, Signify Lighting (Formerly Philips)

“I have over 30 years of experience in design and design management, an MA in Industrial Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design/UK, an Executive MA in Product Design and Development from the Northwestern University/USA, and a PhD in Design from Universidade Europeia focused on ‘Design(er) Leadership in Large Corporations’. My career started in Portugal in 1989 as an industrial designer, to date I have formed and sold two product design companies, worked as a product Design Director in Barcelona and led as Chief Design Officer in a large Internet company.

In 2011 I expanded my international experience and joined Masco as a Design Director working closely with Liberty Hardware and other Masco companies such as Delta Faucet and Kraftmaid. And then in 2016 I joined Philips Lighting, now Signify, as their Head of Design and User Experience, a company that has demonstrated that it can design the way we interact with light (think Hue!), and that will define how light impacts our everyday life at home, at work or in public spaces.

I have also been very involved in and passionate about design education and entrepreneurship. Among other initiatives, I started a network of talented Portuguese industrial designers, and co-founded a non-profit organization dedicated to young entrepreneurship. I have been a guest speaker at numerous industry events speaking on design and design thinking, taught design to designers and non-designers at a higher education level, and have been a jury member at several design schools and competitions (second at Spark). I am a creative individual that works in partnership with business executives to translate and mediate design value into business ventures.”