Steve Kaneko, FIDSA

Steve Kaneko, FIDSA
Partner Director of Design | Microsoft

Steve Kaneko, FIDSA, believes design is about creating the conditions for quality relationships—both between people and the artifacts or services we offer. “Great design is empathic. It happens when we achieve an aesthetic situation of mutual respect and admiration between viewer and artifact, whether it be digital or physical,” Kaneko says. “I design to create this awareness of beauty. We must design our services and devices with the sensitivity of an artist and the rigor of an engineer.”

If anyone can realize this vision, it's Kaneko, who has numerous patents, was chosen one of the 40 most influential technology design innovators by ID Magazine in 1997, and whose 1991 design of the Microsoft Mouse 2.0 is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2005, he was inducted into the Industrial Designers Society of America's Academy of Fellows for his significant contributions to the profession. He continues to be an active member of the University of Washington’s Advisory Committee for the School of Design. His pioneering work in the area of input device design and software interaction continues to be a benchmark for products in today's market. 

“New form factors and technologies will continue to make their way into this world but the next great inflection point will be when interoperability and experience continuity between people, places and things enable us to be hyper present and focused,” Kaneko believes.

Success came through approach, process and organized collaboration. Early in his career, Kaneko found himself working on everything from exercise gyms to birthing beds. He learned that a designer couldn't have a design style specific to a product type or form factor and began to solve design problems holistically by taking into account everything from human factors and aesthetics to business, development and engineering constraints.