RKS collaborates to contribute value to many different categories, including: healthcare, consumer packaged goods, appliances, housewares, sustainability solutions, entertainment, consumer electronics, transportation, lifestyle accessories, industrial products, retail, social innovation and many more.
We provide services that span the entire process from conception to implementation, including: research, strategy, design, engineering, brand communications and coaching. Our solutions build on business priorities while empowering and rewarding consumers, ultimately compelling them to share the joys of their experience.
We Discover Untapped Global Insights
Meet the Team
RKS is staffed by dozens of professional, culturally-diverse creative minds with anywhere from 2 years to 39 years of experience. Our group of Researchers, Strategists, Industrial Designers, UX Designers, Graphic Designers, Mechanical Engineers, and Prototype Developers, embodies all of the backgrounds of its members to create a one-of-a-kind workspace. Some of these unique backgrounds include: the education of our Director of Strategy who has two degrees in Engineering and a Masters in Design, the creative tastes of our Lead Graphic Designer who was a screen writer in a prior life, the strategist who was the past product manager at Puma and Red Bull, and the Ph.D. Anthropologist who loves film editing.
Everywhere at RKS you will find thinkers that have esteemed credentials, share the goal to inspire and innovate, and have the ability to generate results.
Founder & CEO
Born in Canada to parents who emigrated from India in the 50’s, Ravi’s family eventually settled in Los Angeles in the 60’s. From here, Ravi received his B.A from CSU Northridge—all the while attending Art Center’s night classes. During three of his four college years, Ravi worked in Industrial Design first as a model maker and then as a designer at several leading design firms. This eventually led to accepting a position as the youngest member of Xerox’s nascent design team. The experience of working with thirty Human Factors Psychologists, whom he worked with in developing PARC’s first touch screen computer interface, was truly transformational. Only a few years later, Ravi opened his opened his freelance studio out of a bedroom, testing his business wings.
That was in 1980. Since then, beyond being a proud parent, grandparent and husband, he has been able to provide critical mass to hundreds of successful clients. He has led RKS into a global leadership position, while developing a uniquely scalable and repeatable process encapsulated in his book Predictable Magic, published by Wharton and Pearson Publishing. Ravi is the founder, co-founder and a contributor to dozens of start-up companies, several that have grown to renowned success and successfully taken to IPO. Add to this hundreds of design awards and patents and Ravi has proven himself to be a dedicated and driven contributor to the profession.
Ravi writes for Fast Company, Core 77 and others, gives talks throughout the world and guest lectures to design and business students several times a month. He enjoys explaining his Psycho-Aesthetics design thinking methodology whenever he can. All the while he remains focused on his clients’ challenges, providing cross-pollenization, business insight and savvy.
Hailing from Detroit, Scott joined RKS after decades of professional accomplishment and peer recognition as a subject matter expert. Scott developed his early passion for design and its effect on the world though immersion in the automotive world. It was after this initial spark of passion for design that Ravi, Lance and Scott first connected through mutual connections at Eastman Plastics and the Industrial Designer’s Society of America. Years later, Scott would join Lance and Ravi at RKS, contributing his years of experience and unique global background in architecture, transportation design, business strategy and product design.
Scott’s greatest strengths are showcased when bringing together multi-disciplinary approaches and team members to cohesively meld strategy, brand, and experience into a cohesive whole. Scott has renowned leadership and mentoring skills, guiding clients into a design driven culture in order to generate new revenue and profits. By leveraging the cross disciplinary teams at RKS combined 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. This approach has led to establishing new markets for clients while defining long-term portfolio road maps and product and brand design languages that establish and propel. This proven track record has led to building long-term, sustainable relationships with clients.
In addition to his day to day work, Scott provides thought leadership through his writing, speaking at conferences and lecturing in design and strategy. Outside of design, Scott’s passions lie in racing—everything from cars, motorcycles, to turtles in Fiji—and spending time with his wife who he met when he was only 14.
Chief Creative Officer
Born and raised in SoCal, Lance worked in music studios before discovering industrial design in college. It was here where Lance first met Ravi while attending one of his classes. As a part time faculty member at CSUN, Ravi remembers critiquing Lance’s freshman work, which Lance discounts, but Ravi could already see the makings on an emerging design prodigy. Lance’s senior project, completed in 1989, was a far-sighted proposal that the future of home entertainment would be comprised on media hubs that could download movies, shows, and music; all controlled by a single remote with intelligent searching—exactly what we see today, decades later.
Of the over 200 awards RKS has received, Lance’s inspiration, talent and leadership is reflected in each and every one earned after he joined the firm in 1990. As an RKS partner, Lance mentors designers and collaborates with all of our clients. He continually drives RKS forward by integrating our research, strategy, graphics, engineering, prototyping and design teams into a cohesive whole to achieve the strongest designs possible. When he is not busy creating innovative designs, Lance enjoys spending time with his three kids, watching movies, listening to music, and sight-seeing together. And, having grown up riding dirt bikes, Lance maintains his passion for the outdoors with several team members, including Scott and Ravi, who are all avid mountain bikers.
Where We Work
Thousand Oaks RKS is headquartered in the heart of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, less than an hour away from Los Angeles, the melting pot for inspiring creativity and groundbreaking innovation in Southern California. We’re proud to provide an exceptional, stress free environment to our clients and staff, designed for boosting creativity and achieve high quality work.
Santa Monica Our satellite office is located at Cross Campus, Los Angeles’ largest and most dynamic co-working space, designed to help entrepreneurs, artists and digital nomads achieve meaningful relationships while building new businesses. We chose this high energy, collaborative environment at the center of Silicon Beach, to both learn from the young and inspiring crowd and help them implement design as a core strategy into their start-ups as early as possible.