Mark Baskinger

Mark Baskinger

Associate Professor / Director, First Year Program

Mark Baskinger is Director of the First Year program and Associate Professor in the School of Design who teaches courses in interaction and industrial design. His interests include exploring new paradigms for interactive objects and interpretive environments, and methodologies of design drawing and visual thinking to promote collaboration.

Baskinger is currently a fellow in The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, a laboratory for atypical, anti-disciplinary, and inter-institutional research at the intersections of arts, science, technology and culture. In addition, he is an affiliate faculty member of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon and a consultant to the Disney Research lab on campus. He also serves as a researcher with the Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center through Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, was an affiliate faculty member of the Master of Tangible Interaction Design (mTID) program (now EM2/IDeATE) through Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture, and has collaborated with the at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands (TU/e). 

Since 2010, he has directed the MoonArk project (@CMU_MoonArk), intended to be the first museum on the Moon launching in 2021. Designed to endure the harshest environments of space for hundreds of thousands of years, the MoonArk is a highly collaborative and massively integrated object intended to spark wonderment for future humans through poetically entangled visual narratives of the arts, humanities, sciences, and technologies.

Mark is co-author of Drawing Ideas®: a hand-drawn approach for better design published in 2013 by Watson-Guptill, a division of Penguin - Random House. An international speaker and workshop leader, he also conducts Drawing Ideas® workshops in conference and business contexts where he makes design drawing methods and visual thinking techniques accessible to a broader audience and demonstrates strategies for using sketching to foster collaboration in design processes. He served as the co-chair for the design community of CHI2009 in Boston and co-chair for the studios and workshops track for TEI 2016: 10th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction.

He has published papers and articles on the language of designed artifacts, inclusive/universal design, visual “noise” in product design, tangible interaction, UX, and methodologies of visualization. Mark has also served as a contributing author for UX Magazine.

His work has been featured in design publications and international magazines, and has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), I-Space Gallery (Chicago), Krannert Museum (Illinois), the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery (Pittsburgh), and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. His work is also included in the permanent art collection of the University of Illinois and his sculptural work is available through the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. He has won numerous design awards from ID Magazine and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDEA) and personally holds multiple product patents. He was also the 2010 recipient of the Henry Hornbostel Teaching Award at Carnegie Mellon.

Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Baskinger was creative director at Corchia Woliner Rhoda in New York City, and was the lead designer at the Wildlife Conservation Society / Central Park Zoo - Exhibits and Graphic Arts Dept and was a designer at MAYA Design, Pittsburgh. He also held a visiting faculty position in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois (UIUC). External to his appointment at CMU, he co-directed The Letter Thirteen Design Agency, an interdisciplinary design firm, for 12 years from 2005-2017.

Baskinger holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois (UIUC) and is currently pursuing a PhD with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.