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John Marshall

Associate Professor
Associate Professor, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
Founding Director, MDes Integrative Design Program


Photograph of John Marshall


Curriculum Vitae
  • Ph.D. Robert Gordon University, 2008
  • M.A. Manchester Metropolitan University, 1997
  • M.F.A. Ohio State University, 1996
  • B.A.(Hons) Glasgow School of Art, 1993

John is a designer, educator, and creative technologist with over 20 years’ experience. He is interested in the new ecologies created by the intersection of objects, tangible interaction, and networks. John designs interactions for a range of platforms, scales, and sites. His current research focuses on design methods, digital fabrication, tangible interaction, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and problem-based learning.

John co-directs rootoftwo, LLC (with Cézanne Charles). rootoftwo make hybrid design projects that test the materiality and consequenc­es of technology at the city-scale. They create social objects, experiences, and works for the public realm which engage participants in civic future-making. They have worked with clients, collaborators and institutions to present work in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent projects have been featured in Wired, FastCompany, Dezeen, Dwell, Studio International, Fresh Art International, and The Guardian. They were selected to represent Detroit UNESCO City of Design at the 11th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), at the Centre des Arts in Enghien-les-Bains, France.

John also co-directs r+d LAB, LLC a meshing of rootoftwo (Cézanne Charles and John Marshall) + DAUB (Karl Daubmann) a research-led collaborative entity to remix models of practice including laboratory, workshop, think-tank, garage, studio, and agency that lead to innovative approaches, designs and environments. r+d LAB projects have been awarded an American Institute of Architects Michigan Award 2016, an American Institute of Architects Small Project Practitioners Award 2010, Architect Magazine's 2010 R+D Award for architectural research, and have been highly commended in the 2011 ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture from the Architectural Review.

As an educator at University of Michigan, John pursues new educational models, technologies and tools for teaching and learning. He is the founding director of the Master of Design (MDes) in Integrative Design program at Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. Together with MDes graduate students John has designed and led charrettes for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, IBM Watson Health; and has worked with industry leaders including Guardian Industries Corp, Georgia Pacific, Molex, Stryker, and Steelcase. John designed and led the inaugural Impact Hackathon at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business to bring together global leaders — including entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, business leaders, and academics — to catalyze transformational ideas in social impact investing. He is a participant in the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), and the Community-Academic Research Network (CAR-Net).

Previously, John worked as part of a collaborative product development team at consumer baby products manufacturer Evenflo Company, Inc. During this time, he was instrumental in transitioning the company to a rapid prototyping-based product development process. He also taught 3D design at Leeds College of Art & Design in the UK.