Siobhan Gregory

Siobhan Gregory

Academic Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Design Research Methods
  • Design Anthropology
  • Human Centered and Participatory Design Practices
  • Social Impact Design


Siobhan Gregory is an industrial designer and applied anthropologist, living and working in Detroit.

Her research focuses on the progress of a more human-centered design practice. In the business sector, she draws from anthropological theory and methods to help organizations form deep and meaningful connections with their customers through culturally informed product development, service innovations, and brand direction.

Siobhan got her start as an automotive designer for General Motors working in many capacities including: portfolio strategy, brand archetype and strategy, in advanced pre-production and production studios. She then made a career change to become lead footwear designer for the Keds Corporation where, with a strong sense of Keds as an American cultural icon, she helped bring style and relevancy back to this heritage American brand.

Siobhan now works on a wide variety of design research projects for corporations and non-profit organizations. She joined the Art and Art History faculty of Wayne State University in 2012. 

Degrees and Certifications

  • Bachelors of Industrial Design (BID) from Pratt Institute
  • MFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • MA in Anthropology from Wayne State University.

Courses Taught

  • Design for Urban Mobility - AID 6301
  • Ethnographic Research Methods for Designers- AID 3200
  • Design Process- ADN 3100
  • Design Thinking- ADX 3100
  • Senior Seminar- AID 5997
  • Advanced Product Design - AID 5300

Primary Research Interest

  • Social design / design for the social sector
  • Design as a form of civic engagement
  • The analysis of language, material form, and space in design and urban planning discourses

Recent Publications

Berglund, Lisa, and Siobhan Gregory, eds. The Aesthetics of Neighborhood Change. Routledge, 2020.

Gregory, Siobhan. "Authenticity and luxury branding in a renewing Detroit landscape." Journal of Cultural Geography 36, no. 2 (2019): 182-210.

Gregory, Siobhan. "Design anthropology as social design process." Journal of Business Anthropology 7, no. 2 (2018): 210-234.

Gregory, Siobhan. "Detroit is a Blank Slate: Metaphors in the journalistic discourse of art and entrepreneurship in the City of Detroit." In Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, vol. 2012, no. 1, pp. 217-233. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2012.


  • Design Research / Design Ethnography Instruction
  • Design Process / Design Thinking Instruction
  • Industrial Design Instruction
  • Assistant Chair
  • Academic Senate and Student Advisory Committee Member
  • CFPCA Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member¬†
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee Member