Meet Ken Musgrave ’89: SIGD Advisory Council Member

Ken Musgrave, a 1989 graduate of Auburn’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design (SIGD), has spent a long and varied career working at some of America’s most iconic companies, and he has always remembered to put people first.

Ken Musgrave
Ken Musgrave ’89

Human-centered products have been a trademark of his design strategies from the very start, when he began his career at a healthcare technology company and experienced deep immersion in meeting the specialized needs of its users.

Musgrave also holds a master’s in design from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Utah. He has traveled the world during a career spanning executive leadership positions at Ratio Design Labs, a design and technology firm in Atlanta; Becton-Dickinson, the healthcare technology company; Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP), giants in the computing industry; and most recently, Ford Motor Company, where he was Global Head of the D-Ford, Insights Driven, Human-Centered Advanced Design and User Experience unit. Currently, he is serving as a professional consultant.

Musgrave has extensive experience with building and developing global, digital and physical design in studios across the U.S., Asia and Europe. He incorporates user-centered designs and has a passion for creating emotional connections between people and the products they use.

During his time at Hewlett-Packard, he was instrumental in introducing the company into the mobile photo business with the launch of the Sprocket photo printer. He also helped HP redefine the home printer with the launch of the Tango smart wireless printer. Prior to that, during his 16 years at Dell, Musgrave was Executive Director of Experience Design and directed the design of every category of Dell Products.

Musgrave credits his time at Auburn with helping him develop many of the work and design strategies that have helped him over such a varied career. “My overarching memory is repeatedly getting a focused lesson in objectivity and work ethic,” he recalled of his time on the Plains. “Being able to accept a critique. Getting assignments that seemed too hard to do in the time we had — and having to organize myself and put in the hours to get it done. All built a sense of quality, determination, process and focus that would not have been there otherwise.”

Now, as a new member of the SIGD Advisory Council, Musgrave hopes to share those same lessons along with others gained over a highly acclaimed and varied career.

“Overall, I would like to see the university continue to build on its design education reputation and address the rapidly evolving changes in the demands made on a creative professional,” he said. “SIGD needs to find ways to be nimble in addressing design needs in the digital, physical and virtual realms; seek diverse destinations for its interns and graduates; and develop a process for self-assessing the quality of student work and the educational approach.”