Marnie Jones, FIDSA

Marnie Jones, FIDSA

San Francisco Chapter Secretary
Inducted intot the Academy of Fellows: 1980

In 1971 Marnie Jones was probably the first woman to graduate in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). For two years, she designed and marketed toys for a small company in Lawrence, Mass. She swore she would never design for a corporation again and kept that promise for ten years, during which time she taught ID at North Carolina State and San Jose State, attended Stanford's master's program, did a bit of consulting and freelance work and worked with Peter Lowe, FIDSA to invent the Center for Design.

As secretary for IDSA's San Francisco Chapter, Jones created "NEWS", one of IDSA’s first chapter newsletters, known for its renegade "light touch" and won two IDSA Kudos. She was Program Chair for the 1978 annual conference, Thrival/Beyond Survival, and a one-term national board member. She became a fellow in 1980.

She worked for Tonka Corp. for three years. "Again, I felt ill-suited for corporate life. It was demoralizing to have sales and marketing 'dumb down' our coolest stuff. It was time for a change." What had been her hobby, music, became her next career. She discovered the harp and her spiritually-oriented folk music expanded into "acoustic new age."

"Healing is what holds my diverse work together, that is bringing a higher balance and order to things, shedding light, finding truth. Music is design with finer threads and more creative freedom." To date, she has nine albums to her credit. Unfortunately, getting her music marketed has not been easy and boxes of cassettes and CDs still sit in the garage. You can have a listen at ThrivalProductions.com. (Hey, it was a GREAT name!)

In 1986 Jones played for 6,000 people who had gathered to meditate and pray for world peace. As the arts coordinator, there were billboards, kid art on the walls and a 45-minute music program after the quiet.

In 1991, at 43, Jones had a son, Robin. They moved to Vashon Island, Wash., where she opened a bed and breakfast in an old church. The designer touch and her harp playing during breakfast made it a favorite island inn for over ten years. Her work with healing and music led to several tours, mostly to California, Robin in tow. She had several articles published.

In 1999 a multinational's threat to mine the island got the designer busy on giant cardboard fish, protest banners, parade floats, media events and lots of letters to the editor. "The battle still wages seven years later, but instead of being the artist activist, I'm now head of media and communications for our little nonprofit."

In September 2005, Jones' partner hit a deer on his Harley. She nursed him through months in the hospital with broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury. "Between being an advocate for Doug, and his dad who is on kidney dialysis, butting heads with government agencies, being a mom and working to stop the mine, that strong foundation in design and a bunch of faith somehow get me through all this!"