Executive Director, School of Industrial Design Studies
Tom Matano, Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University, is an honorary judge at the 2015 Hillsborough Concourse. Mr. Matano is an industry veteran who held design positions at Mazda, General Motors, and BMW for nearly three decades prior to joining the Academy. Mr. Matano has almost 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, holding design positions at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan, GM Holden's Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia, and BMW in Munich, Germany. In 1983, he joined Mazda's North American studio as a Chief Designer. From there, he went on to become Executive Vice President of Western Operations for Mazda R&D North America, Inc., and Executive Designer & Director of Mazda North American Operations.
From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Matano worked at Mazda’s headquarters in Japan as an Executive Designer in the Global Advance Studio, overseeing efforts for Japan, Europe, and North America; and eventually he was named General Manager of Mazda Design in charge of all Chief Designers. His accomplishments at Mazda include the 1993 RX-7 and Miata, in addition to many other projects produced by the design teams he built and managed. Since 2002, Mr. Matano has been committed to becoming an educator, using his diverse knowledge and experience to enhance the Industrial Design program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, now ranked #4 in the Red Dot World Ranking of Industrial Design schools.