IDSA Mourns the Loss of Longtime Member and Honored Design Educator

Steven Skov Holt Passes

Apr 13 2016 - 11:16am

Professor Steven Skov Holt, who was an IDSA member for almost 30 years, has passed away in San Francisco. Holt was the Distinguished Professor of Industrial Design at the California College of the Arts and was honored with IDSA's Education Award in 2002.

Holt (shown right with Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA) was co-founder of the Product Design Program at Parsons: The New School for Design and previously worked at Smart Design, Zebra and frog.

Holt had struggled with his health for more than 15 years. He shared with his students and colleagues that creative practice and the power of design should be an agent of positive change in the world.

Holt was a former editor of ID magazine and wrote for AXIS and Metropolis magazines. In 2005, Holt and his wife, Mara Holt Skov, co-wrote the first comprehensive survey of fluidity in contemporary design—Blobjects & Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design. In 2012, Holt penned “The Formlessness of Form and Contemplative Biology” in IDSA’s flagship publication, INNOVATION.

Holt served as a guest curator at the San Jose Museum of Art; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He also lectured at arts institutions and conferences around the world.

Memorial services are being planned, possibly on both coasts.

As Holt wrote on his blog, “The Professor endeavors to always:

  • search for the pattern that connects;
  • remember that the map is not the territory;
  • share the belief that nature is the great teacher;
  • be an advocate for curiosity and the new generation of students;
  • be a purveyor of hope and optimism;
  • not start forest fires;
  • and live life at the Venn diagram intersection between art, craft and design."



Steve was a brilliant and kind person with a rare combination of talents and interests. I am grateful for the time we spent together, and for his dedication to design.


Our Condolences to Steve's Wife & Family.
As Many have exalted, Steve was an Inspiring, Prolific & Visionary Designer
Who embodied ALL of the Compass Points of Creativity & Innovation
May We Always Cherish & Celebrate the Insight, Knowledge & Spirit of Creative of Life
that Steve so Openly Shared & Professed

Ricardo Gomes