Erin Cho pic2Associate Professor of Design and Management

“Innovation is no longer an option in business,” says Erin Cho, associate professor of strategic design and management at Parsons. “Today’s marketplace is fiercely competitive, and companies must invest in creativity to thrive. That opens up career opportunities for those whoc an bring together diverse perspectives, facilitate collaborations, and come up with effective solutions.”

Combining business and innovation is a familiar practice for Cho. “My background is unique,” she says. “I trained in design and focused on business for my PhD. In my career, I delved into supply chain management, consumer behavior, design management, social enterprise, and brand development. Early on, I understood the value of merging different ideas and perspectives.”

According to Cho, design thinking—methodologies derived from design industries for creatively solving problems and facilitating innovation—is fundamentally transforming the way businesses develop solutions. “Every day, companies come up with new, unconventional methods of producing products and delivering services to satisfy customer demands,” says Cho. “But innovation remains a risky business. Firms often expend significant resources on new projects that fail within three to six months. So we constantly challenge students to figure out the right way to innovate, and that means developing intuition, creativity, empathy, and a sharp business mind.”

When asked about the business schools that are integrating design thinking into their undergraduate and graduate programs, Cho remarks, “In the end, these schools can’t offer a deep understanding of design. That is the hallmark of Parsons.”


Professor Cho has an extensive research background in consumer behavior, branding, innovation, and strategic management, and is also experienced in business consulting and entrepreneurial activities in these areas. She has published numerous research papers in top peer-reviewed journals in her fields, such as Journal of Retailing, Journal of Business Research, International Journal of Design, International Journal of Retailing and Distribution Management, Journal of Consumer Affairs, International marketing Review, Information and Management, and others. She has also carried out several funding and consulting activities, such as “Building Trust and Long-Term Relationships with Generation Y’s” for Filene Research Institute, Trust building strategy for financial products for A.C. Neilson Research Center, The Effect of Globalization of High-End Western Brands on the Diffusion of Design Capabilities to Foreign Suppliers in Partially Industrialized Countries by Design and Social Science Research Fund and so on. Professor Cho received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009, the most significant lifetime teaching award at New School, and is also an inaugural recipient of the Incubator venture funding from New School University based on her iPhone game application. She has served in various department and cross-divisional committees and collaborations, such as APT (Advanced Promotion and Tenure) committee, BBA curriculum committee, master’s program development committee, Fashion Curriculum Committee, institutional review board, design and social science committee, and many others. In addition, she has been contributing to various inter-organizational activities and has been an active member of several professional organizations in her fields.”


  • Strategic Design Management
  • Innovation
  • Branding
  • Consumer behavior
  • E-Commerce
  • Global strategies
  • Fashion Marketing
  • Supply chain management