Elena Pacenti, NewSchool of Architecture & Design
Elena Pacenti
Dean of School of Design
NewSchool of Architecture & Design

With a deep understanding of design culture and over three decades of experience gained in design education and international research projects, Elena is a proven design expert, passionate in leading complex and innovative projects in which design plays a key role. After her studies and PhD research at the Polytechnic University of Milan (1993-1998), she has spent most of her professional career at Domus Academy in Milan (1997-2013), a renowned Italian institution for post-graduate education. She relocated to San Diego, California with the mission of establishing the School of Design at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego (2013-present). In her career, she has pioneered the work on Service Design in the academic research at Politecnico di Milano under the mentorship of Ezio Manzini; coordinated European Research projects and directed Domus Academy Research Center (DARC); designed and launched programs in higher education (Master in Service & Experience Design, undergraduate degree programs in Product Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Graphic Design & Interactive Media); advocated for the strategic value of design and the arts by participating in organizations such as Service Design Network, Design Forward Alliance, Future of Design Education. Elena Pacenti received the insigna of “Cavaliere” dal Consiglio all’Ordine del Merito della Repubblica” (OMRI) awarded by decree of the President of the Republic of Italy, on December 27, 2020