Charles Austen Angell

Charles Austen Angell is the founder of Modern Edge, Inc., a strategic industrial design firm based in Portland, Oregon.  Modern Edge is known for original work in the fields of health & wellness, mobility, home products, and experiential environments.

As President and CEO, Angell oversees all Modern Edge projects, from client contact through human factors research, design refinement, product and program management, market positioning, and customer experience.

Mr. Angell brings a rich and diverse background to his company. He maintains a special focus on the role of culture, politics, and geography in shaping human needs, and meeting those needs with responsive product design. He is passionate about designing products that transcend cultural boundaries to enhance the shared human experience.

Professional Accomplishments

Before founding Modern Edge, Mr. Angell served as Director of Design Research and Innovation for Intel Corporation. Mr. Angell holds his BSID in Industrial Design from Purdue University and served as Design Lead for a Purdue master’s level engineering grant to develop passive restraint systems for General Motors. His independent design experience spans projects in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia. Prior projects include work with Intel, Samsung, John Deere, Providence Health Care, Harley Davidson, SC Johnson, Medtronic, BMW, Gillette, St. Jude Medical, Sunbeam, and many others.

Mr. Angell’s published works include articles in Innovation magazine and other journals of design. He has also been a guest lecturer at NASA, Purdue University, Oregon Health and Science University,, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondal, and has taught an online masters level class in Sustainable Product development for Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Through his numerous speaking engagements, publications, and teaching, he is committed to advancing the profession of Industrial Design.

In service to the profession, Mr. Angell is on the Board and the Chair Emeritus of the Industrial Designers Society of America, and was among the original trustees for the Design Foundation; a public charity in support of design education and social responsibility.

In 2015, Austen was inducted into the Academy of fellows for IDSA. In January of 2016, A national pole of designers voted him as one of the 50 most notable IDSA members over the last fifty years – a list that includes the founders of Continuum, ZIBA, and IDEO, as well as Raymond Lowey, Sharon Thompson, Nancy Perkins, Henry Dreyfuss, Katherine J. McCoy, Patricia A. Moore, and Walter Dorwin Teague.

He is a sought out speaker on design and innovation all over the world, and is known for his commitment to design for positive social impact.

Engagements & Publications:

Design Trends in Product, Experience and Service, 2016, USPTO Design Day, Washington, DC

Fifty Most Notable Members of the Industrial Designers Society Over the Last Fifty Years, 2016, 50/35/50 INNOVATION

Service Design, and Research, 2015, Workshop, OHSU masters in Healthcare leadership, Portland,  OR

Medical Service Design, 2015; Medical Device Design Conference, IDSA Conference, Keynote, Orlando, FL

The Wearables Revolution, 2015; Opening Keynote Speaker, China International Creative Design Forum, Qingdao, China

Design in the New Economy, 2015; Sichuan-Taiwan Industrial Design Awards, Keynote, Chengdu, China

What I Should Have Said on Stage, 2015; Blog Entry, Author

Wearable Technology & Threadcasting, 2015; Wearables In Apparel, Interviewee, Portland Business Journal, Portland, OR

Threadcasting, 2015; Wearables In Apparel, Lead Author, White Paper, OSU, Portland, OR Download the Wearables White Paper here

Palmer Johnson Yachts Sky Helm Design, 2015, Show Boats International, Interviewee, Article, North America, Download Article

First National Industrial Design Day, 2015; Accepter of Government Proclamation, US Congressman Commemorates ID, Herndon, Mass.gov Announcement

Medical Service Design, Health Ignite, 2015; TAO Technology Association of Oregon, Speaker, Portland, OR

Wearable Tech Revolution, 2015; SIDA, Keynote, San Francisco, CA

NASA Design Integration, 2015; NASA Space Center, 2015; Keynote, Houston, TX

Don’t Panic, 2015; World Class Learning Workshop, Speaker, Portland, OR

Autonomous Vehicle Development + Culture, Detroit Auto Show, 2015; Plastics in Automotive – Plastics News, Keynote, Detroit, MI

The Service Usage Model in Medical Design, 2014; Medical Device Design Conference, IDSA Conference, Keynote, Orlando, FL

Medical Device Design Panel Discussion, 2015; Design Museum Portland, Unite, Keynote, Portland, OR

Wearables 3.0, 2015; What’s Wrong with the Usage Model?, IEEE, Portland, OR

Designing Innovation, 2014; IDSA, Ford Motor Company Panel Discussion, Austin, TX

Commencement Speech, 2014; Art Institute, Keynote, Portland, OR

Mind, Body, & Soul, 2014; IDSA Southern District Conference, Keynote, Savannah, GA

Professional Development, 2014; Art Institute, Portland, OR

Future of Design, 2014; MIAD, Keynote, Milwaukee, WI

10 Design Lessons From Rally Racing, 2013; IDSA, Portland Social, Portland, OR

The Design Community, 2013; IDSA International Conference, Keynote, Chicago, IL

Iconic Design, 2013; Keynote, Hyundai Sonota New Model – World Debut, Gyeongsangnam-do, Seoul, Korea

Value of Innovation, 2013; Sichuan-Taiwan Industrial Design Awards, Keynote, Chengdu, China

The Color of Money: Birds, Bees, Beards, and Pyramids, 2013; IDSA, Northeast District Design Conference, Keynote, Hartford, CT

Brand X Challenge, 2013; Design Student Competition, Judge

Car Design Renaissance Happening in America, 2013; Market Makers, Bloomberg TV Interview

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (when design goes wrong), 2013; CHIFOO, Quantifying Kick-Ass Lecture Series, Keynote, Portland, OR

The Changing Landscape of Service Design, 2013; Business Week, Interview

Build a Culture of Innovation, 2013; Plastic News Executive Forum, Keynote Speaker, Tampa, FL

What to Make?, 2012; Keynote Speaker, China International Creative Design Seminar, Beijing, China

The Future of Choice, 2012; Opening Keynote Speaker, China International Creative Design Forum, Qingdao, China

Do Good!, 2012; Opening Night Ceremony, Design Week PDX, Portland, OR

“The Future Is…”, 2012; Conference Chair, IDSA International Conference, Boston, MA

Entrepreneurialism Workshop, 2012; Speaker, Portland Incubator Experiment, Portland, OR

Disruptive Design, 2012; Speaker and Panel Discussion, Mercy Corp Headquarters, Portland, OR

Realizing Good Intentions, 2011; Speaker, Sustainability Series, Chicago International Housewares Show, Chicago, IL

Kenya Disaster Relief Pilot, 2011; Panel discussion, IDSA International Conference, New Orleans, MA

Leading with Empathy, 2011; Seminar Speaker, IDSA Chicago event, Chicago, IL

Sustainable Product Development, 2009; Keynote Speaker, 3M Forum PDMA, Minneapolis, MN

Transforming Healthcare, 2009; Speaker, Transform and Transcend Conference, New Orleans, LA

IDSA Southern District Conference, 2009; Student Merit Awards Judge, New Orleans, LA

Corporate Design Strategy, 2007; Moderator (POD), P&G headquarters, Cincinnati, OH

There’s No Place Like Home, 2006; Speaker, HFES home health Conference, Washington, DC

Assisted Living Technologies, 2006; Web article, Australia (read here)

We’re better off at Home, 2006; Magazine article print, Urban magazine, Australia

Connecting Home Health, 2006; Keynote speech, Connected Home Conference, Melbourne, Australia

Design + Process, 2006; Speaker, Intel Internal Forum, Intel Auditorium, Dublin, Ireland

Design and a Few Dangerous Ideas, 2006; Speaker, IDSA Western District Conference, Tempe, AZ

Next Design Horizon Forum, 2005; Moderator (POD), Crown Equipment Headquarters, New Bremen, OH

Global Economic and IP Forum, 2004; Speaker, Society of Plastics – Industry Conference, Charlotte, NC

Conference Opening Remarks, 2004; IDSA Mid-east District Conference, Pittsburgh PA

Asian Cultural Narratives Revisited, Winter 2004; Invited letter, Innovation Magazine

Asian Cultural Narratives, Spring 2004; Invited Letter, Innovation Magazine

Horizon 10, 2004; Delegate, Invitation Only – Microsoft Future Design Tech Summit, Scimitar Ridge, WA

Conference Opening Remarks, 2004; IDSA Southern District Conference Charlotte NC

Role of Design in Manufacturing, 2003; Presenter, Plastics News Executive Forum, Tempe, AZ

Design Alignment Forum, 2003; Moderator (POD), Nissan Design Headquarters, San Diego, CA

Going Public with Design, 2003; Interviewed for article in Residential Architect magazine

Conference Opening Remarks, 2003; IDSA Western District Conference, Pasadena, CA

Sustainable Futures Lecture Series, 2002; Presenter, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Mpls, MN

Consumer Programmable Interfaces, 2002; Presenter, International Housewares Show, Chicago, IL

Designing Product Relationships, 2002; Presenter, IDSA Midwest District Conference, Minneapolis, MN

Social Capital within Design Organizations, 2001; Presenter, Design Management Institute’s 23rd Annual Conference, Chatham, MA

Role of Social Capital in Design, 2001; Article, International Council of Industrial Design Societies quarterly publication

Role of Social Capital in Innovation, 2001; Presenter, International Council of Industrial Design Societies, North American Conference, Montreal, Canada

User Centered Design Strategies, 2001; Presenter, Technology, Media, and Design Conference, Madison,

The Gateway: Learn and Grow or Fade Away, 2000; Conference Chair, IDSA Midwest District Conference, St. Louis, MO

Sustainable Design Strategies, 1999; Presenter, International Housewares Show, Chicago, IL

The Creative Culture, 1999; Conference Chair, IDSA Midwest District 2000, Madison, WI

Design Strategy Issue, summer 2000; Guest Editor, Innovation Magazine

Redesigning the Design Brief, 2000; Presenter, SC Johnson Wax Innovation Conference (internal), Racine, WI

The Five Minute Mentor, Spring 2000; Article, Innovation Magazine

Teaching Experience

Oregon Health and Science University, 2015, Masters Class Workshop on Service Design, Portland, OR

Portland Institute of Art and Design, 2015; Senior Presentation Review, Class of 20015

Portland Institute of Art and Design, 2014; Senior Portfolio Review, Class of 20014

Portland Institute of Art and Design, 2009; Senior Portfolio Review, Class of 2009

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2009; On-line educator, Product Design, Natural Inspiration for Sustainable Products

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2006; On-line educator, Product Design, Natural Inspiration for Sustainable Products

University of Minnesota, 2002; Guest Lecture, User Centered Design Forum

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2001; Guest Lecture, User Research and Design, Minneapolis, MN

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, 2001; Guest Lecture, User Innovation and Utility, Milwaukee, WI

Purdue University, 1998; Guest Lecture, Design and You, West Lafayette, IN

ESL English teacher, 1991-1992; Volunteer English Teacher, Korean Community, Chicago, IL

Purdue University, 1988; Volunteer Teacher, Product Development – Super Saturday Program for gifted children, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN

Purdue University, 1987; Volunteer Teacher, Astrophysics & Cosmology – Super Saturday Program for gifted children, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN