Noel Mayo is a designer and educator, and is owner and president of Noel Mayo Associates, Inc., the first African American industrial design firm in the United States.
Noel received a B.F.A. Degree from the Philadelphia College of Art, where he later taught and served as chairperson of the Industrial Design Department. During the tenure, the department grew by three hundred percent, from ninth to the third largest department in the college (now University of the Arts).
In 1989 he was named the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Art and Design Technology at the Ohio State University, a program designed to attract nationally and internationally known scholars to further strengthen outstanding academic programs that deal with compelling statewide and national issues.
At Ohio State Noel teaches product, interior and graphic design. He is researching accelerated learning processes using music, color, relaxation techniques interactive computers and video.
Noel has developed brochures and videos directed toward recruiting African American and other minority students while at the same time establishing a directory of minority professionals in industrial, graphic, interior, and architectural design. He has been instrumental in establishing minority mentoring programs in the IDSA, SEGD, and Ohio State University.
He serves on the board of the University of the Arts and is a fellow of the Interior Design Council of Philadelphia. He has served as board member of the International Design Conference at Aspen, the Fairmount Park Art Association of Philadelphia, and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. He has been a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts Panel, the New Jersey Council for the Arts, and the IDSA annual design awards.
He served as the president of the Philadelphia Economic Council, as well as the Greater Philadelphia Community Development Corporation, a commissioner of Philadelphia Art Commission, and serves as an advisor to Metrobank of Philadelphia.
He has designed telephones, seating, desks, lighting fixture, offices, stores and restaurants. He has worked on the design of exhibits in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Lagos, Barcelona, Casablanca, and the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Since the 1960s, he has enjoyed a relationship with Lutron Electronics; designing a majority of their products, and guiding their aesthetic and functional direction. Notably, he designed Nova, the first linear dimmer for commercial application. He designed Attache, Credenza and Versaplex which were selected for Industrial Design magazine’s 1977 Design Review. He designed two homes for Lutron’s CEO and their two office buildings. Lutron’s design sensibility is recognized around the world.