We are Engaged with Start-Ups

to Global Leaders

Our History

RKS was founded by Ravi Sawhney in 1980 following a multi-year stint at Xerox immersing himself in Human Centered Design and Innovation while developing the first generation touch screen. In its first decade, the firm established its mission of understanding humanity in the pursuit of advancing business and society. 

One of RKS’ first successes came soon after the founding in the development of the production design of the animated Teddy Ruxpin, one of the greatest disruptive success stories in the history of toys.


35 Years of Results

The 90's brought RKS new challenges and successes, such as working with Alan Kay on early explorations of tablets and how they could affect learning, RKS’s innovation of Pocket arcades for Sega, and the innovation of a disruptive dental whitening system for Discus Dental that transformed dentistry into offering its patients better, happier smiles. Turning around Minimed was an important milestone at the time, using design to overcome stigmas attached to their diabetic infusion pump and increasing sales from a falling 40MM to 270 MM three years later, triggered an acquisition by Medtronic of 3.6B! The 90s were also a time of deep introspection about design and humanity leading to RKS’s discoveries of how the world could leverage Joseph Campbell and Abraham Maslow's work. This thinking lead to the development of RKS’ Psycho-Aesthetics methodology.

After 2000, RKS saw great transformation in who it was, how it worked and who it worked with. The firm moved to its new 18,000 ft. facility and became prolific in delivering a stream of award winning, results driven, planet friendly designs and innovations using Psycho-Aesthetics. At the same time, RKS started flexing its incubator and entrepreneurial wings by taking equity positions and starting new companies such as RKS Guitars, famous for named on the cover of Business Week as the "Best Product Design" and later became one of the more popular Harvard Cases. 

Now in 2015, RKS has earned hundreds of awards and achieved global recognition by being able to help companies emerge with meaningful and disruptive design and innovation in any category. The team has evolved and emerged as being a unique hybrid of diversity and talents. Engagements have evolved from innovating for an opportunity to identifying new opportunities through thousands of face to face interactions with audiences globally, expanding clients abilities to leverage design thinking and market themselves globally. Research has become extremely valuable from identifying people's needs and aspirations to developing highly product creative emersion sessions in which clients simultaneously learn about the RKS way of design thinking and can innovate within a team environment. 

The awards continue to stream in, but what the team finds exciting is its ability to disrupt, differentiate, create new meaning and value, and build enriched brands that enhance shareholder value in the process.

Our Leadership

Ravi Sawhney

CEO & Founder

Ravi Sawhney drives and innovates all departments of RKS. He’s an author, entrepreneur, speaker and lecturer. He brings RKS over 40 years of professional experience through building business and brand for start-ups and global leaders. 

Watch Ravi speak at Tedx Talk and CCADedu.
Read Ravi's articles on FastCo.


Scott Clear

Chief Design & Innovation Officer

Scott Clear has over 30 years of experience and unique global background in architecture, transportation design. By leveraging the cross disciplinary teams at RKS with his thought leadership, Scott has a proven track record of leading domestic and global client initiatives that combine design thinking into effective business strategy.

Lance Hussey

Chief Creative Officer

Lance is the Chief Creative Officer of RKS and has been for 25 years. He drives RKS forward by integrating research, strategy, graphics, engineering, prototyping and design teams. As an RKS partner, Lance mentors designers and collaborates with all of our clients.


Together, we ensure our team is made up of talented researchers, strategists, designers and engineers dedicated to providing expertise to make sure our clients reach their goals.




We have conducted thousands of interviews in over twenty countries to obtain profound understandings of culture and society. We know what makes people tick.

  • Global Market Research
  • Ethnographic Studies
  • Insight Generation
  • Trend Forecasting
  • Quantitative Market Analysis


We identify business opportunities through holistic thinking, customized methodologies and creative storytelling to provide clarity and direction for growth.

  • Opportunity Definition
  • Positioning Strategies
  • User-Experience Playbooks
  • Go-To-Market Roadmaps
  • Business Plans


We keep companies ahead of the curve by creating solutions that span from incremental builds to disruptive innovation.

  • Tech / USP Advancement
  • IP Creation / Navigation
  • Product Development
  • Technology Integration
  • Social Impact


We envision and develop holistic solutions to create compelling brand connections with style, substance and story.

  • Product
  • Brand
  • Digital
  • Service
  • Brand
  • Environment



We partner with organizations and entrepreneurs to successfully realize design and innovations into the market.

  • Venture Incubation
  • Production / Materials / Process Engineering
  • Prototyping and Piloting
  • Sourcing and Manufacturing

Advisory & Mentoring

We bring an unprecedented level of thought leadership to the industry, for students and board of directors alike.

  • Workshops
  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • Executive Advising


Serving an unprecedented level of thought leadership and vision to organizational leaders through advisory boards, keynote addresses, coaching and executive workshops.