As PepsiCo’s first-ever chief design officer, Mauro Porcini, who is responsible for leading innovation by design across the company’s food and beverage portfolio, extending from physical to virtual expressions of the brands, including product, packaging, events, retail activation, architecture, and digital media, has been named as this year’s laureate for The American Prize for Design by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
With an eye toward the future and a mission to grow Pepsi’s core brands, the beverage and snack-food giant installed Porcini as the corporation’s first-ever design chief, with a mandate to shake things up.
“And shaken things up he has,” states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum.
“Mauro has infused a new design thinking and sense of purpose into PepsiCo’s corporate culture and on a global, monumental scale but still with a deeply profound humanist fingerprint that builds and natures a sensitive approach to humanity and to the human experience not often seen in the vast big business, gigantic corporate global world.”
“At PepsiCo, he has leveraged design to create a meaningful dialogue and a relevant brand experience with his audience by bringing design to life across different platforms from music to sports to fashion and to a hugely diverse audience from the Americas to Europe, Africa, and Asia.”
“Good Design is universal; it is a language, and Mauro has successfully understood what people want and need and dream about.”
“He cares about people—he celebrates them. He brings to life and conveys something in design that is deeper than just a commercial ‘product’.”
“Instead, he crafts a meaningful and relevant visual experience that lifts his audience to somewhere higher, somewhere more engaging, somewhere more substantial than simply a commercial encounter.”
“In this sense, he is a visionary as he sees design beyond the brand as something more profound and aesthetic.”
Porcini began his professional career at Philips Design and then created his own design firm, Wisemad Srl, in Italy with the celebrated entertainment producer and music star Claudio Cecchetto.
His work on wearable technologies has been showcased at the Louvre in Paris as well as the Seoul Art Center.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Porcini served as the first ever Chief Design Officer at 3M, where his mission was to build and nurture a design sensitive culture in a technology driven global corporation. His teams, based in the U.S., Italy, China, and Japan, won many of the world’s most prestigious design and innovation awards.
Mauro is the host of his own successful video podcast “In your shoes – with Mauro Porcini” on Apple podcast, Spotify, and YouTube, where he interviews inspiring personalities from the creative community worldwide.
Since 2020, he is a presenter and judge on the TV show “New York by Design” and “America by Design,” airing on CBS and Amazon Prime Video.
In 2021 his first book was published, in Italian: “L’età dell’eccellenza – Come innovazione e creatività possono costruire un mondo migliore” (Il Saggiatore).
His first book in English, “The Human Side of Innovation. The Power of People in Love with People” (Berrett-Koehler), focusing on innovation, design, and leadership, is planned to be launched in October 2022.
Given in conjunction with The Chicago Athenaeum’s historic Good Design Awards, The American Prize for Design honors a specific design practitioner with the highest public accolade for producing design that promotes design excellence, innovation, and lasting design.
Candidates for the Prize are sent to The Chicago Athenaeum by design practitioners, press, and educators from around the world and the Museum’s International Advisory Committee that ultimately selects the winner.
The Committee’s decisions are based on core criteria: design excellence, innovation, and contributions to humanity and to the public good.
Previous recipients of The American Prize for Design include:
Gorden Wagener, Chief Designer and Executive Vice President at Daimler AG.; British architect/designer Norman Foster; Italian Ferrari Designer, Flavio Manzoni; American designer Chris Bangle; and Canadian American designer Karim Rashid.