Denis Weil, dean of IIT Institute of Design, is a proven design leader with a passion for advancing the practice of design to create new solutions and approaches to entrenched problems, through both practice and teaching. For over a dozen years, he has driven design and innovation in leadership positions at organizations like McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble, and IDEO. Most recently, he has applied his design leadership to driving innovation in the social and public sector serving as a design advisor to a range of social and civic organizations including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Year Up, Mercy Corps, and Sanergy.
Weil was named a “master of design” by Fast Company. In the article “Making Over McDonald’s” (Fast Company, 2010), Tim Brown, president and chief executive officer of IDEO, called Weil an “experience engineer” engaged directly with large-scale experimentation. This has focused especially on his customer and community base - a “living network” where ideas emerge from global partners—owner-operators, suppliers, outside design firms, customers —and are relentlessly filtered and tested. He has led teams in comprehensive product design, resulting in significant patents such as dynamic fit diapers, which has been patented worldwide and part of Pampers design for over 25 years.
A native of Switzerland, Weil received a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, ETH) including the Master Thesis Exchange Program with ETH and Imperial College London. In addition to his master’s degree in design planning from IIT Institute of Design, Weil was a 2015 Advanced Leadership Initiative fellow (nonprofit/public leadership) at Harvard University and guest professor at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem).