Shashi Caan

Architect; Interior Designer; Product/Industrial Designer / United Kingdom; United States / Shashi Caan Collective

Founding principal of the Shashi Caan Collective, Shashi Caan demonstrates an understated sensibility in all her projects, uniting the multiple layers of two- and three-dimensional design in the built environment. Through a unique collaborative design process, The Collective provides architecture, interiors, and workplace and product design solutions that focus on innovation and supporting people both pragmatically and qualitatively. The Collective’s collaborative structure results in highly successful work as exemplified by the firm’s reputation and receipt of major industry awards and accolades from such publications as Metropolis, Architecture, and Indesign magazines, as well as from associations and industry shows including GlobalShop, and NeoCon, among many other publications and organizations. Caan was Contract Magazine’s U. S. National 25th Anniversary “Designer of Year” in 2004.

Shashi Caan is a multi-talented designer, acclaimed internationally for bridging the divide between design practice, theory, and education. At the forefront of advocating the role of design in society, Caan holds the highest positions in international design advocacy, as president of the International Federation of Interior Architects Designers (IFI)—representing over 175,000 designers worldwide—and as the Rotating Chair and Executive Committee member of the International Design Alliance (IDA)—the international umbrella organization that encompasses IFI as well as the leading world bodies for graphic design (International Council of Graphic Design Associations [Icograda]) and industrial design (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design [Icsid]).

Previously, Caan held senior positions at major firms, including Gensler, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), where she was Director of Design and Associate Partner. Her diverse international portfolio of work includes architectural interiors projects of 1,300 to 3 million square feet, as well as several product lines and an executive aircraft interior. Her clients include The Scottish Government, Edinburgh University, Inver House Distillers, Mohawk Industries, Carnegie Science Center, DuPont, and numerous companies in the financial services sector. Caan is also a sought-after textile and product designer and is an internationally recognized color authority, as evidenced in her widely publicized live lab study, “Spatial Color.”

Equally respected for her valuable contribution to design education, Shashi Caan is the former Chair of the Interior Design Department at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. She has been on the faculty of several educational institutions, including Pratt Institute. Caan has also worked with Columbia University, conducting research to explore parameters and content for an innovative new curriculum. Invited for keynotes, juries, and panel discussions, she regularly lectures internationally and, in her capacity as visiting professor, conducts master classes at educational institutions worldwide. Caan sits on numerous advisory boards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). She holds two master’s degrees, respectively, in Architecture and in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, and a BFA (with honors) from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh University in the U. K. Her professional work and writing has been widely published in design journals and periodicals.

Her first book, Rethinking Design and Interiors: Human Beings in the Built Environment, was released by Laurence King Publishing in August 2011.

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