Rafael Smith

Design Director

Rafael focuses on product and systems design for winning ideas from IDEO.org’s Amplify program, a five-year program funded by the UK Department for International Development to make international aid more collaborative and human-centered.

A designer and social entrepreneur with experience tackling challenges from emergency shelters in disaster zones to agricultural systems in rural India and Africa, his work ranges from physical products to software applications or systems. Prior to joining IDEO.org, Rafa was lead designer at Solar Mosaic, an online investment platform for clean energy, helping the company enter the market and grow from zero to ten thousand users. As an industrial design consultant, he has created products for manufacturers like Bosch, SunBeam, and Pyrex and founded Uber Shelter, a company designing emergency shelters for disaster relief in Haiti, Venezuela, and Japan.

In his spare time, Rafa is a mentor for the Unreasonable Institute, advising entrepreneurs on how to apply rapid prototyping and design thinking to their businesses. But the key to Rafa’s heart is through an invitation to yoga, burritos, or conversations about evolution.

Rafa received his bachelor’s in Industrial Design from Purdue University.

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