Multidisciplinary design practitioner, artist and educator Amy Leidtke is an engaged scholar with over 20 years of professional experience in research, participatory design, strategic and master planning, exhibit and product development and design, curriculum design and public speaking. She is an accomplished industrial designer and education consultant with a record of success combining the disciplines of strategic and master planning, ideation and design development, participatory design workshops, project management and inclusive professional design practice.
Leidtke has experience with making design accessible, developing educational symposia, salons, institutes, roundtables, exhibits, activities, products and workshops for people of all ages. Her independent research interests include participatory design, design thinking, design education, and design science, with an emphasis on creating design education products and experiences for K–16 students and educators.
Leidtke has been teaching at RISD since 1995. Sample college-level studio courses include: Curiosita: Practical Applications for Innovative Thinking, Introduction to Industrial Design, Sketching and Rendering for Industrial Design, Industrial Design Principles, Industrial Design Investigations, 2-D Drawing for Furniture Design, Drawing Boot Camp, Nature-Inspired Design Innovation, Spatial Dynamics and Industrial Design Graduate Studio. Sample independent studies include Tensegrities, UX/Brand Strategy and Design for Children. Since 2014 she has also served on the faculty of the Department of English/Cultural Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI teaching Design in Contemporary Culture and IDEA Design Thinking.
Leidtke received the Student Chapter Merit Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America in 1988. In 1990 she was recognized by the National Association of Museum Exhibition Slide Show of Exemplary Exhibits for her Generations exhibit, which was installed at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. In 1991 she received The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Award of Excellence for her design of the Animals from A to Z... Including Me! exhibit. In 1995, she received the Alexander Graham Bell Award for Excellence in Design and Invention, awarded by RISD’s Industrial Design department. She served as a Presidential Faculty Fellow for Rhode Island Campus Compact from 2013–14. In 2015, she received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo for the creation and curation of the exhibition Tangible Thinking: The Intersection of Art, Design, Math and Science, located at The VETS Gallery, contributing to Rhode Island as the State of the Arts. She was Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Fellow at Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in 2015–16. She has also been a Faculty Fellow at the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute since 2014. Leidtke is co-founder of the Biennial Design Science Symposium, an interactive meeting of makers, thinkers, practitioners and educators (organized by the Synergetics Collaborative and the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab) at RISD. She currently resides in New England with her family.