James Rudolph, IDSA


James Rudolph, IDSA
Assistant Professor | University of Notre Dame

James Rudolph is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Notre Dame. James brings extensive industry and user-centered design experience to the department, having spent the majority of his career in medical device development and design consulting. James is particularly excited to introduce real-world problems to the classroom, while enabling students to explore thought-provoking design theory and meaningful design solutions. James’ specific area of interest and expertise includes program management, contextual inquiry in healthcare environments, design strategy, ideation methodologies, medical device development, and creating environments for successful cross-disciplinary productivity.

Prior to joining the faculty, James led design and development programs for a wide array of healthcare and consumer electronics businesses, ranging from globally recognized Fortune 500 companies to well-funded medical device start-ups. James’ work often occurs at the intersection of pivotal healthcare domains and ground-breaking technological advances. Examples include: precision robotics for orthopedic surgery, laser therapy for coronary atherectomy, and focused ultrasound for non-invasive treatment of cancerous tissue. Previous clients include: GE Healthcare, Mako Surgical, Medtronic, DePuy Mitek, Ethicon Inc., Haemonetics, Virtual Incision, and HistoSonics. James plans to continue his research and design contributions while at the University of Notre Dame through a robust teaching regimen, academic research, and ongoing design consulting through the design firm he started with his wife and business partner, Rudolph Design Studio.



Statement of Candidacy (Education Council - Midwest | 2022-2023 term)

Thank you, IDSA and the design community, for the opportunity to offer my candidacy to become a member of the IDSA Education Council. It's an exciting and welcome privilege to be nominated, and I wish everyone running for this Council the best of luck.

Much of my recent research, writing, and reflection has focused on the unique challenges facing design education. As a designer with 14+ years of professional experience, the research has been both highly rewarding and, at times, frustrating. Frustrating, because the volume of rather scathing critiques regarding design education, its history, scholarly value, and variable pedagogical approaches, often seem to outshine the tremendous progress the discipline and field of design have made over the past 20-30 years. As a long-time practitioner, and newly minted educator, I believe strongly in the value of design education, and its contribution to student growth, to the advancement of academic scholarship, to the evolution of good development practices, and most importantly, to society as a whole.

If elected to the Education Council, I aim to continue the advances that have been made in design education, while utilizing the practices of design and design research to identify key challenges and opportunities for improvement. Importantly, I look forward to the opportunity to work with members of the council, design faculty, and of course, students, to develop new strategies for educational progress and policy, Student Chapter events, and access to professional practice(s) and engagement. I believe these are the IDSA services that drive lasting membership commitment, build excitement in the design community, and foster Student Chapter membership growth. I also look forward to contributing to and being an advocate for long-standing, important IDSA events such as the Student Merit Award competitions and Scholarships and ensuring the tremendous value of these opportunities are effectively communicated on design campuses.

Finally, as a contributing member to many IDCs, which have been such rewarding events, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Education Symposium. If elected to the Education Council, I aim to work tirelessly to continue to ensure the strong, rigorous, and highly creative research and content for this important event—an event that many design educators (including myself) rely on to catch up on the latest in design research and education.

Thanks again for the opportunity to offer my candidacy to be elected a member of the IDSA Education Council, and best of luck to all the well-qualified candidates! I look forward to working with everyone, for many years to come, regardless of the outcomes.