Vignelli Center
for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

How Neuroscience
Prompted a Chair

Mark McKenna, Design Director for both Turnstone and Education at Steelcase presented at Rochester Institute of Technology.




 Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna is a design professional with an abiding interest in both fine art and elegant mechanics. Raised on a farm in Illinois, he attended University of Illinois where he studied industrial design.


His education brought him to Europe to study at the University of Northumbria in England and at the Ingo Maurer studio in Germany. He earned a US utility patent, the first of many, for his senior thesis project– a machine to be used for emergency used for emergency flood control. Mark followed his passion for design and engineering to Henry Dreyfuss Associates where he helped design John Deere equipment.


He founded his own creative studio in 2002, mmckenna LLC, serving John Deere, Caterpillar, Ingo Maurer, and Humanscale. In 2005 he launched his own line of products selling at over 200 retailers, and featured in over fifty national and international publications, including the New York Times, Metropolis, Popular Science, and others, culminating in a vote as one of Time Magazine’s top 100 designers. In 2008 Mark took a position as Design Director for Humanscale Corporation, where he oversaw a team of 25 designers and engineers, developing furniture for the contract industry. In addition to products, Mark has exhibited his artworks in New York City, Soul Korea, and most recently in Grand Rapids. He has subsequently moved to Steelcase where he is the Design Director for both Turnstone and Education and is now a resident of Grand Rapids, MI.