RISD President John Maeda Leaving For Silicon Valley

Maeda, a digital designer who at times clashed with the art school's analog culture, will take a position as a design partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda has announced that he'll be leaving the school at the end of this semester to take a job in Silicon Valley, joining venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a design partner. Maeda, former associate director of the MIT Media Lab, has been a somewhat controversial figure during his six-year tenure, during which he's tried to inject digital life into the steadfastly analog design school.

“I am passionate about revealing art and design’s role in innovation, and this next step represented irresistible pathways to strengthen design’s place in the digital age," he told students in a farewell video. In addition to his role at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he'll be advising entrepreneurs on incorporating design into their businesses, he'll be chairing eBay's Design Advisory Board.

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  • susie ghahremani

    his departure (and method of departure - youtube video?) seems sort of tacky and abrupt to me.