Dan Harden, IDSA


Dan Harden, IDSA
Founder, CEO, and Principal Designer of Whipsaw


Dan is founder, CEO, and Principal Designer of Whipsaw Inc., an Industrial Design firm in San Jose and San Francisco, CA. Whipsaw designs products and experiences for Brita, Cisco, Ford, GE, Google, Haier, Harrys’, Intel, Leitz, Merck, Motorola, Nike, Olympus, Peloton, Samsung, Sony, Tile, TP-Link, and Uber. Dan is the highly active creative force of Whipsaw, where he directs the strategic and conceptual direction of most client accounts. His passion and experience combined with his personal philosophies about art, culture, psychology and technology permeate the work and the brand. 

Throughout his prolific career Dan has designed hundreds of highly successful products ranging from baby bottles to supercomputers. One of his specialties is medical product design including diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical products for companies such as Blumio, Braun, Ceribell, Merck, Optovue, Penumbra and Silk Road Medical.

Dan has won over 300 design awards in his career including 45 IDEA Awards plus many Red Dot, iF, and MDEA (Medical Design Excellence Award) including MDEA Best of Show 2019 for Ceribell. He has been granted over 500 patents. His work has been featured in the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Henry Ford Museum, the Chicago Athenaeum, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.  

Fast Company magazine selected Dan as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2014, calling him “design’s secret weapon”. Fast Company also featured Dan as a Master of Design in 2005. Dan's views and work have also been featured in Abitare, Axis, Business Week, CNN, Domus, Form, Fortune, Metropolis, Newsweek, Time, Wired, and several design books. Dan was awarded the prestigious IDSA Personal Recognition Award in 2019. He was also inducted into the World Technology Network which honors individuals doing “the most innovative work of the greatest likely long-term significance.”

Prior to founding Whipsaw in 1999, Dan was VP and President of Frogdesign where he designed many notable products for luminaries including Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch. Before joining Frog in 1989 he was a lead designer at Henry Dreyfuss Associates. In the early eighties Dan interned with design master George Nelson. He also interned at Hewlett Packard and Richardson Smith. Dan graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture and Art in 1982.



Medical Design Deep Dive 2020 Session Description

Fireside Chat

Join a fireside chat with three leading design experts discussing the current state of medical and commercial healthcare design. The conversation will be casual and collaborative in seeking the true impact of COVID-19 and its reach and impact on medical design consulting.


Tor Alden, FIDSA, Principal, HS Design
Sean Hägen, IDSA, Founding Principal, BlackHägen Design
Dan Harden, Founder & Principal Designer, Whipsaw