Rhode Island School of Design
Bachelors, Industrial Design '98

The New School
Masters, Media Studies '05


Robert Creighton has more than twenty years of experience in the conceptual development of interactive experiences and the design of educational environments for cultural institutions. His professional experience bringing varied and complex subject matter to life has led to the development and design of wide ranging and captivating visitor experiences for museums, aquariums, science centers and corporate clients. He’s worked with curators deeply exploring current cultural issues to understand the underlying causes of a community uprising and alongside scientists studying everything from ant decapitating flies to the water system in California. The designs that come from these projects engage the public and encourage them to question 
assumptions and explore their world from new perspectives.

He began his career with Tom Hennes at Thinc Design in New York where he worked on a range of award winning exhibits including the Aquarium and Rainforest within the California Academy of Sciences. While working in the field of experience design, Robert pursued theoretical work at The New School studying with Paul Ryan to understand his theory of threeing and the underlying concepts from Charles Pierce’s theory of Semiotics. This formed the critical framework for Robert’s thesis research into the application of Semiotics within the development of physical experiences centered around transportation and humans relationship to cars as still objects.

Semiotics and Sustainability inform Robert’s design process and provide a framework to address complex design problems and deliver thoughtful solutions. Recent projects include: “Built on Water” devoted to an examination of the history, present, and future of water conservation in Ontario and the surrounding region; “Game Changing,” which explores the connections made across cultures through the game of baseball post-WWII; and “Black California Dreamin’: Claiming Space at America’s Leisure Frontier” that illuminates Angelenos and other Californians who worked to make leisure here an open, inclusive reality in the first half of the twentieth century.  He is currently investigating exhibit ideas that allow children to explore their emotions as well as examining the possibilities of pushing the museum out of the building and onto the streets within communities.

Robert’s teaching practice is focused on introducing students to processes that allow them to systematically explore the full range of environmental impacts that their designs will have. This greater emphasis on material research and sustainability connected with human-centered and social impact design allows students to see where design fits in the world beyond the production of stuff while helping them find their unique view of the world and the role that they want to play in it.

Robert is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the product design department at Otis College of Art and Design. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master’s Degree in Media Studies from The New School. His films have been shown internationally, and he currently resides in Los Angeles.


Robert Creighton's Picture


No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992. CAAM (California African American Museum)

  • 2018 Core77 Design Awards. Design for Social Impact. Runner Up
  • 2018 IDSA IDEA Awards. Finalist

Nature Lab. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 

  • 2015 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement. Museum Exhibition. Limited Budget
  • 2014 AAM Excellence in Exhibition Award. Outstanding Connections Between Design, Content, and Community Context
  • 2014 IDSA IDEA Awards. Finalist
  • 2014 SEGD Global Design Awards. Merit Award

Age of Mammals. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 

  • 2011 AAM Excellence in Exhibition Award. Special Achievement in Clarity of Message

California Academy of Sciences

  • 2009 Event Design. Gold Winner. Museum Environment. CAS Steinhart Aquarium 
  • 2009 IDSA IDEA Awards. Silver Award. Environments. CAS Steinhart Aquarium
  • 2007 AIA SF Citation Award. Interior Architecture. CAS Transition Facility

Cleveland Botanical Garden Orientation Theater

  • 2004 IDSA IDEA Awards. Silver Award. Environments

Clients/Employment History:  

CAAM (California African American Museum), Norton Simon Museum, Japan House LA, Ontario Museum of History and Art, The Queen Mary, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Skirball Cultural Center, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, Discovery Science Center LA, Cedars-Sinai, Orange County Water District, Catalina Island Marine Institute, The Nature Collective, The J. Paul Getty Museum, LAUSD, California Science Center