Fred Collopy

Professor of
Information Systems
and Cognitive Science

Personal website:

I have been designing things for as long as I can remember. Currently I am designing Business Animator, a tool for visualizing the ratios that managers often use to understand organizational performance. During the 1990s I designed Imager, an instrument with which graphic artists can play abstract images in the way that musicians play with sounds. During the 1980s I designed Rule-Based Forecasting, an expert system that integrates judgmental and extrapolative forecasts, and The Desk Organizer, the first software to use a personal computer to integrate personal information management. Throughout I have also designed companies and courses and academic programs.
How does design happen? Designing is among the most sophisticated and demanding of cognitive activities. It is done by individuals and by groups. It involves the analytic and the synthetic. It relies upon the cognitive and the intuitive. In my work on Managing as Designing, I am looking at how insights derived from designers and artists can be applied to the work of practicing managers.