John McCabe is formally the Program Coordinator for the User Experience Design, Service Design, and Design for Sustainability Programs at Savannah College of Art and Design. As a mentor and professor he has facilitated well over 30 collaborative projects with Gulfstream, Google, TTI, Remington, Fossil, HP, Chick-Fil-A, Dell, ATandT, BMW, Disney, PandG, and many others. McCabe’s experience in facilitating these service and product development efforts for Fortune 500 companies has provided him the insight to create a unique, dynamic, and effective client-sponsored project process. He has had the privilege to implement it through non-typical student experiences and managed those integrated cross-disciplinary design teams through off-campus study-abroad experiences to over 17 different countries around the world.
John McCabe recently co-founded Aether, a non-profit think tank focused on developing advanced educational curriculum and immersive collaborations. The organization creates transformational experiences intended to develop empathic and strategic leadership at all levels. It's a unique layering of 3 educational platforms - SHiFT, META, and PRSM. Aether partners with talented individuals, disruptive communities, and engaged corporations. Together they form a potent mixture of resources and passion that fuels the perfect recipe for positive global change.
John McCabe’s design career began while at Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. His architecture thesis was designed and built at the world renowned Rural Studio under the direction of Samuel Mockbee and Andrew Freear. He later worked as an Associate Architect for a few years designing for the educational and healthcare industries. After returning to the highly regarded design program at Auburn to earn additional degrees in Environmental Design and Industrial Design, he co-founded Fulcrum Collaborative. While teaching part time at Auburn, Fulcrum developed urban planning solutions, award winning wakeboard boats, packaging and branding for lifestyle products, and training equipment for professional sports organizations.
He later transitioned to Savannah College of Art and Design where he became a professor and coordinator for programs within the internationally recognized School of Design. During the next 9 years, McCabe had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best companies in the world, facilitate international immersive trips with students, and represent the university at some of the world’s most respected venues. He had the unique privilege to work on many projects that were selected for international design awards, be published for his leadership in and out of the classroom, and develop some of the most advanced curriculum currently in the industry.
After experiencing first-hand the forces that are currently affecting institutionalized education, he felt the industry needed to be pulled in a different direction. John began connecting with industry leaders and change agents to put together a community that would develop a strategy for change. The outcome of those meetings is the non-profit, Aether. The ripple effects of one of its platforms, SHiFT, can already be felt all across the world. The international community of students and professionals that attend the camps are not only changing each other’s lives, but taking home the lateral thinking methodologies they learned, the desire for positive global change, and the most important is the power of empathy. Aether is actively collaborating with organizations from all over the world to locate and educate our future leaders.