Katherine J. McCoy, FIDSA

Katherine J. McCoy, FIDSA
(b. 1945)

IDSA America Education Award: 2000
IDSA President: 1983-1984

Katherine has been a senior lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design in Chicago since 1995, following 24 years as co-chair of the Department of Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and an appointment as visiting distinguished professor of the Royal College of Art in London from 1992-1996. McCoy's career started at Unimark International in 1967, followed by work as a graphic designer for Chrysler Corporation's Corporate Identity Office, Omnigraphics of Boston and Designers & Partners of Detroit. In 1971 McCoy and her husband, Michael, became co-chairs of Cranbrook's Department of Design and formed the design consultancy McCoy & McCoy. She became known for her graphic design for the Art Academy, especially for posters and academic and museum catalogs.

She is past president and fellow of the Industrial Designers Society of America and was president of the American Center for Design and vice president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She served on the Design Arts Policy Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and chaired the NEA Design Arts Fellowships Grant Panel for three years in the 1980s. She curated the traveling exhibition New Dutch Graphic Design and was associate producer of a public television documentary, Future Wave: Japan Design. In 1993 she conceived of and chaired Living Surfaces, the first national conference in the US on new media in interaction, graphic and industrial design. Her work has been exhibited by the Walker Art Center, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design and the Centre Pompidou Centre de Creation Industrielle, Paris. Her writing in design criticism and history led to the Design Issues Advisory Board and a contributing editorship of ID magazine.

She was a 1982 IBM Fellow of the International Design Conference at Aspen. In 1990 she co-authored and designed the book, Cranbrook Design: The New Discourse. In 1999 McCoy became a Medallist of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, in recognition of her teaching and practice. Jointly with Michael McCoy, she was awarded a Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design in 1994 and the Industrial Designers Society of America Education Award in 2000.