Founding Principal, The Collective
US and UK
International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers
Executive Committee 2007-2013
International Design Alliance - IDA
Founder and Principal of the Shashi Caan Collective US and UK, Shashi Caan’s professional work demonstrates an understated sensibility, uniting the multiple layers of architecture, interior and product design. Through a unique collaborative design process, The Collective provides architecture, interior, workplace and product design solutions which center on supporting people both pragmatically and qualitatively.
The Collective’s unique structure results in highly innovative and successful work as exemplified by the firm’s reputation and receipt of major industry awards and accolades from sources such as Metropolis, Architecture, Interior Design magazine, as well as the IIDA, GlobalShop and NeoCon. Ms. Caan was Contract Magazine’s US National 25th Anniversary 'Designer of Year’ in 2004, and IFMA’s ‘Educator of the Year’ for Greater New York in 2006.
Shashi Caan is a multi-talented designer, acclaimed internationally for her creativity and for bridging the divide between design practice, theory, and education. At the forefront of advocating the role of Design in society, Ms. Caan holds the highest positions in international design advocacy, as president of The International Federation of Interior Architects/ Designers, IFI - representing over 100,000 designers worldwide, and as former Executive Chair, and current Executive Committee member, of the International Design Alliance (IDA). The IDA is the international umbrella organization which includes IFI as well as the peak global bodies for Graphic Design (Icograda) and Industrial Design (Icsid).
Previously, Ms. Caan held senior positions in two major US firms; Gensler, and Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), where she was Director of Design and Associate Partner. Her diverse international portfolio of work includes architectural interiors projects of 1300 to 3 million square feet, as well as several product lines and an executive aircraft interior for Alcoa and Gulfstream. Her clients include Goldman Sachs; Fidelity; Mohawk Industries; Edinburgh College of Art; Carnegie Science Center; DuPont, and NBC Studios. Ms. Caan is also a sought-after textile designer and an internationally-recognized color authority, as evidenced in her widely-publicized live-lab study, Spatial Color.
Equally respected for her valuable contribution to design education, Ms. Caan is the former Chair of the Interior Design Department at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. She has been on the faculty of several educational institutions including Pratt Institute and was a Faculty Trustee of the New York School of Interior Design. Active in research for the development and improvement of design education, Ms. Caan has worked with New York’s Columbia University, conducting a research program establishing the parameters and content for an innovative new design curriculum. Invited for keynotes, juries and panel discussions, she regularly lectures internationally and conducts master classes in her capacity as visiting professor.
Ms. Caan sits on numerous advisory boards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Academically, she holds two Masters Degrees respectively in Architecture and in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a BFA (hons) in Environmental Design from the Edinburgh College of Art, UK. Her professional work and writing is well published in design journals and periodicals, including Metropolis, Architectural Record, Architecture, Interior Design, I.D., Contract and MIX. In May 2010, Shashi Caan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree by the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID). The author of her first and forthcoming design theory book, Rethink Design and the Interior: Human Beings in the Built Environment, this book will be launched in August 2011.
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