Gregory Thomas

For over 25 years, Prof. Thomas was the owner and founding principal of Gregory Thomas Associates (GTA), a Los Angeles design firm specializing in brand strategy and corporate communications. This small-but-internationally-known firm has done branding programs for the countries of Australia, New Zealand and Austria as well as a number of international corporations and US. His work has received numerous national and international awards and has been featured in a number of international publications.


Professor Gregory Thomas came to came to KU as the Chair of the Design Department, School of Fine Arts in 2004 after a distinguished professional career as the principal of GTA/Los Angeles. Since 2009 he has served in a developmental capacity for the Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.


Mr. Thomas has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and Acting Chair of Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Mr. Thomas is a graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute, California Institute of the Arts, and Yale University. He has been employed by IBM, CBS, the offices of Charles & Ray Eames and Saul Bass.


He has been a keynote speaker at several national conferences and delivered the keynote address at the 2014 Connected World Conference (Chicago). Thomas also be delivering a speech entitled “Delivering Mobile Health in Rural Environments” at the 2013 mHealth Summit Washington D.C., and also served as a juror for the 2013-15 Connected World “Best Devices.” He has given numerous speeches on design and technology over the years.


Professor Thomas’ work is currently focused on the infusion of smart devices into the automobile and healthcare environment. The research centers on the convergence of new health technologies that will enable diagnostics and patient treatment in rural and metropolitan areas.

As founder and director of the Center for Design Research (CDR), Professor Thomas has developed a three building complex and multidisciplinary collaborations devoted to the design and development of new products and services. The CDR has done industry-sponsored projects for Bayer HealthCare, Ford Motors, Intel and more.

He is the first recipient of the School of the Architecture, Design, & Planning’s “Research Impact Award” and recently been selected as the first “IT Faculty Fellow at KU” which is intended to enhance faculty research and enable students to bring creative solutions to their projects.

Professor Thomas’ research is focused on: health & wellness initiatives, icon/symbol design and history, vehicular/transportation safety, SMART grid building technology (V2G), sustainable building, connected vehicles, wayfinding/signage, distractive driving mitigation, adaptive information displays (automotive) and mHealth (M2M).

He is a member and/or honored as a University of Kansas-Senior Administrative Fellow, Phi Beta Delta-Alpha Pi Chapter Honor Society for Scholars, Advisory Board University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center, University KU Center for Research, Board of Trustees Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Board, IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America), SEGD (Society for Environmental Graphic Design), University & College Designers Association American, Design Management Institute (DMI), and the Economic Development Committee of Lawrence.