Sébastien Proulx, PhD, IDSA


Sébastien Proulx, PhD, IDSA
IDSA Education Award: 2022

Sébastien Proulx is Associate Professor of Design, Coordinator for the Industrial Design major, and Co-Director of the DESIS Lab at The Ohio State University (OSU). He is widely admired as a hands-on teacher and motivator for his colleagues and students in support of responsible, inclusive, and future-oriented design education.  

Proulx holds a PhD in Design and a Master of Applied Science in Design and Complexity from the University of Montreal. He completed postdoctoral studies in public health at the University of Montreal Public Health Research Center and a doctoral fellowship in political and moral sociology at the Paris School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. 

Before joining OSU, Proulx was an instructor at the University of Montreal’s School of Design for 12 years, teaching social service design and visual communication to industrial design students.  

At OSU, Proulx's collaboration with faculty and students resulted in the founding of the DESIS Lab, investigating design for social innovation and sustainability. He has proposed vertical design charrettes in the Industrial Design program to elevate students’ communication with each other and the industry. He also has been trailblazer in the department for securing an affordable learning grant that allows ID students to share their leftover prototyping materials, and for championing a racial equity fund to bring design justice work to his classroom.  

“Dr. Proulx came to The Ohio State in 2017, at a time when he was the sole industrial design tenure track faculty,” says Mary Anne Beecher, PhD, IDSA, Professor of Design at OSU. “While working mostly alone for the better part of his first three years, he was able to catalyze the program's evolution and bring people to support the establishment of a forward-thinking industrial design focus and extension of industrial design boundaries.” 

“Sébastien is a dedicated design educator and design researcher who cares about his students and society,” says former colleague Hazal Gümüş Çiftçi, PhD, now Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. “His work ethic and passion for teaching are features that set him apart. He is accessible to his students, and he knows how to motivate and inspire.”