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Ignacio Urbina Polo

Chairperson of Industrial Design; Professor

photo by JAC Visual

Ignacio Urbina Polo is an industrial designer born in Venezuela and holds a Master’s degree in Product Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil and a specialization in Bionics. He has worked in different areas in the field of design, and developed projects for companies, public and private institutions. He served as a product designer and researcher at the Brazilian Industrial Design Laboratory in Brazil (1988–1993). In 1995, he became part of Miguel Arroyo, Álvaro Sotillo, and Alberto Sato’s team, contributing to the establishment of the La Estancia Art Center in Caracas, and was involved in curating and developing the museography for its opening exhibition. He worked on large projects in Venezuela such as: Macagua Hydroelectric Complex (1996) in Guayana, the Universidad Central de Venezuela (1996–2002), and the Andean Amazon Pavilion for Expo Aichi (2005) in Japan.

Professor at Prodiseño — School of Visual Communication and Design — in Caracas since 1995 and its Director (2004–2009). He has been a visiting professor to give lectures at national and international universities and co-directed design workshops such as Bio Design – Future Ecologies at TEC de Monterrey in Mexico (2019), SEA – Sustainability in Kuna indigenous community (2018) in Panama and Hyper Hybrid (2018) Design Schools Workshop organized by WantedDesign in New York. He has participated in curating design exhibitions, and since 1994 his writing has appeared in newspapers and specialized magazines. He is the editor of the di-conexiones, a platform dedicated to industrial design and has been invited to participate as Jury in design awards and competitions, such as the Design Excellence Brazil (2010) and the Observeur du Design (2014), the National Award for Industrial Design in France. Founder member Ibero-American Biennial of Design in Madrid (2007–2023) and founder member in 2023 of ID – Ibero-American Design Association.

He is a full-time Professor in the Department of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute in New York and continues to develop industrial design projects independently. His current research focuses on the intersection of industrial design and interaction, with an interest in decolonized material culture, aging, cities and minimal resources.

Industrial Designer | Master in Product Engineering