Bridging the gap between ideation and materiality, Kent Wilson synthesizes his experience as an artist, designer, educator and entrepreneur to deliver multi-scalar, cross-disciplinary design experiences in teaching, design practice and consulting.
Kent’s award winning work encompasses emerging technologies in architectural 3D printing and fabrication while engaging with social, political and economic discourses. This builds upon experience in marketing, creative direction, and project management for top brands including Hilton, Disney, 20th Century Fox, VW/Audi, Toyota/Lexus, Gensler, and leading California design firms.
Concerns with social equity and sustainability motivated Kent to transition from corporate image-maker to architectural designer, educator and design consultant. He believes that the design of the built environment holds strong potential for addressing ecological problems, and that the future of architecture will synthesize adaptive reuse, computational design, handcraft and digital fabrication.
Returning to school at mid career he delved into the heart of advanced design innovation in UC Berkeley’s Master of Architecture program where he engaged in breakthrough research into architectural applications for 3D printing. He continued to challenge assumptions and push boundaries at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, and now brings that depth of expertise to his design, teaching and consulting. Understanding that AR and VR technologies are poised to remake the world of design, Kent introduced and led an initiative to bring AR/VR and reality capture tools into the Jacobs Institute, and guides clients in incorporating these emerging technologies into adaptive reuse in architecture.
Kent lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has taught interior design studios at San Jose State University, led Design and Innovation for Sustainable Cities summer studio at UC Berkeley, served as R&D Design Specialist at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, and collaborated with Belgian design collective Rotor, Oakland design incubator Emerging Objects, and the UC Berkeley printFARM.
An early adopter of ride sharing and an advocate for public transit, Kent often travels by rail between the East Bay, San Jose and San Francisco through a diverse landscape of successes and failures in environmental design – from the marooned sinking ghost town of Drawbridge, to manicured amenities of Silicon Valley. “I’m reminded daily of our need to design in harmony with nature” he says.
Whether serving as an impromptu tour guide, as a guest design critic at UC Berkeley, CCA or SJSU, or outfitting a fabrication lab, remodeling a house, or breaking down a complex project into manageable parts, Kent brings a passion for discovery and an eagerness to share the adventure while attending to critical details.