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Charles Cannon

Charlie Cannon is a designer and educator focused on the contributions that design can make to addressing the wicked problems of our day. He is an Associate Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and a Scholar in Residence at PopTech.

At RISD, Charlie cofounded the Innovation Studio. The studio brings interdisciplinary collaboration, creative thinking, social innovation and research to bear on intractable problems ranging from climate change to community development, from social justice to civic infrastructure. The Innovation Studio operates as a laboratory for new ideas to shift the attention of the design disciplines toward complex, present-day concerns, and to involve the larger public in the search for their solutions. Research projects emerging from the Innovation Studio have been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund, and the RISD Research Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Cannon’s professional life as a designer has been quite varied. For the last ten years he worked with non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprise to drive social innovation. Previously, he worked as a builder and carpenter; as a co-founder of two award-winning architecture practices; as a web strategies and software interface designer; as well as a studio furniture maker and a strategist.