Columbus College of Art & Design Hires Chair to Lead New Master of Design Program


CCAD Master of Design Chair Merce Graell

Columbus College of Art & Design is pleased to announce the hiring of a new chair for an innovative new graduate program.

Mercè Graell will serve as the chair of CCAD’s new Master of Design in Integrative Design program, which launches in fall 2017.

Graell comes to CCAD from Barcelona, where she has worked as Strategic Design Director for the prestigious firm Designit and Coordinator of the Master in Design Management Research program at Istituto Europeo di Design.

“Mercè is a top leader in the design world and is a perfect fit for the new Master of Design program,” said Ric Petry, Director of Graduate Studies at CCAD. “She brings an amazing amount of experience from her time at Designit and also from running a design management graduate program in Europe.”

Graell has more than 25 years of experience creating design projects and more than 10 years of experience developing and implementing successful design methodologies centered around people — she has been a pioneer of co-creation in Spain. She has worked in industries including travel, finance, banking, retail, telecommunications, and health care, and on the academic side, has specialized in developing design curricula that focus on design thinking, design research, and design management.

Graell earned an MFA in Design Education from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technical Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña.

“She brings all this international experience and also knows the creative community in central Ohio,” Petry said.

At CCAD, Graell is charged with leading the new two-year Master of Design in Integrative Design program, which provides talented designers and professionals with the tools to achieve leadership roles in organizations and create new businesses. Graell said she’s thrilled to lead the program.

“I am interested in exposing students to real-world design challenges by building a network of industry partners at a strategic level,” Graell said. “And that will be an important part of the MDes program at CCAD.”

Graell’s colleagues praised her work as a design leader and said they’re sad to lose her at Designit — but happy for CCAD.

“I am delighted that Mercè has this growth opportunity to share her professional design skills with the next generation of designers,” said Maritza Guaderrama, PhD, Managing Director, Designit Spain & Latam. “We are losing a very valuable person but we look forward to continuing with her our ongoing mission of bridging the gap between the demands of the Design industry and Academia.”

"Working with Mercè has been one of the best professional experiences in my whole career,” said Eduardo Moratinos, Strategic Design Director, Designit Barcelona. “Since I started teaming up with her as Strategic Design Director, every day has been an opportunity to learn from her knowledge on design research and innovation processes, her openness, and passion for challenging the standards.”



Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private art and design colleges in the United States, offering 12 undergraduate majors and two graduate programs in art and design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit



CCAD’s Master of Design in Integrative Design provides talented designers and professionals with the tools to achieve leadership roles in organizations and create new businesses. Centered around project-based experiences, the curriculum focuses on business, research, design thinking, leadership, strategic planning, and creative asset management. Through a mix of real-world projects and coursework in the 2-year program, students will gain the knowledge they need to navigate the bridge between design and enterprise. And they’ll leave CCAD leaders fluent in design and business, ready to help companies and communities become more creative, impactful and competitive in a global marketplace. For more information, visit


Jeannie Nuss
Senior Media Relations Specialist 
Columbus College of Art & Design