Activity-Centered Visualization

The Center for Activity-Centered Visualization questions the presupposition that information is fundamentally passive data disconnected from processes, tasks, context, and personal histories. Our goal to move beyond this legacy view of static information and a document-centric application paradigm to design and evaluate activity-centered information entities that dynamically alter their appearance and behavior in response to interaction and context.  We are developing a novel multi-scale browser-based information framework designed to support dynamic representations of notes, sketches, papers, data analyses, and visualizations of activity.

Design-Driven Transformation

The Center for Design Driven Transformation at UC San Diego’s Design Lab is dedicated to studying and teaching this emerging field of practice, in order to help other companies achieve these results. Our Founding Partners, SAP and IBM, have both accomplished remarkable transformations of their organizations and their products through a design-­‐driven approach. They are now working with us, providing access to lessons learned, IP developed, experienced practitioner instructors, and other resources. Our shared goal is to develop:

  1. a formalized understanding of how to structure and execute this sort of transformation in a range of large and complex enterprises, and;
  2. a program to teach, guide, and mentor a broad range of enterprises through similarly impactful transitions.

Health Design

The Center for Health Design’s mission is to foster human-technology teamwork in healthcare by taking a people-centered approach to health’s greatest challenges. We work with global stakeholders, from village innovators, community volunteers and patient advocates to researchers, clinicians, government and industry. Together we aim to solve the “wicked” health problems that require not just singular scientific advances but innovation in multidisciplinary and distributed teamwork.

Our work is guided by the following principles:

  1. Focus on people, from village innovators, community volunteers and patient advocates to researchers, clinicians, government and industry partners
  2. Design for the entire well-to-well cycle of health, from maintaining wellness to treating medical conditions to return to wellness
  3. Treat health as a complex socio-technical system, not a collection of isolated parts
  4. Foster human-technology teamwork by designing technologies that work with, rather than replace, people.
  5. Emphasize cognitive continuity of care, helping people communicate and collaborate at transitions of care.
  6. Design for continuous ground-up innovation, fostering sharing of solutions across between communities across the globe.

Large-scale, individualized learning

New challenges, cultural values, and technologies are changing design — and vice versa. Pervasive networked devices have freed design from the confines of the lab: design increasingly roams at large. Many of these designs meld the physical, digital, and social worlds. The successes are tremendously exciting, but the failure rate is high. Herein lies the challenge. Currently, many design practices are faith-based rather than research-based. Why is there a shortfall of principles for effective design? In part, some see design as intrinsically mystical and impervious to investigation, because creative work is clearly complex and multifarious. And in part, this is a multidisciplinary effort. Building rigorous design theory requires insights that are currently spread across departments… and also beyond the ivory tower.

The research tools harvest and synthesize examples to empower more people to design, program, learn, and create. The experiments and research systems leverage real-world, web-scale usage to create practical theories for design. One focus of our recent work — inspired by the design studio — is enabling peer learning online. This work, used in hundreds of massive online classes, has created techniques for effective global-scale peer assessment of creative work and small-group video discussions among learners from diverse cultures.

People-Centered Automation

The Center for People-Centered Automation is interested in communication and trust with regard to people interacting with autonomous systems. How should an autonomous system communicate with people in such a way that its behaviors and interactions lead human users to the appropriate, “calibrated” level of trust? We must trust our machines the right amount – not too little, and not too much.

Social Computing

Technology has not only massively transformed how we share information, but how we collaborate to solve complex problems. Immense challenges, such as caring for an aging population or addressing civic issues, require new strategies that engage many diverse stakeholders in the design process. The social computing group creates novel social-computational tools to coordinate creative activities within established and emergent communities. Specifically, we adopt and enhance techniques from crowdsourcing, social networking, and design thinking towards the goal of developing theory and technology that fundamentally transforms how we practice human-centered design.

Work, Technology, and Society

The Center for Work, Technology, and Society draws together the analysis of technology, organization, and political economy to forge more equitable futures of work. The center will address both the analysis of large-scale transformations in the organization of work, as well as processes for more democratically designing these futures. The center explicitly draws on modes of analysis drawn from communication, feminist studies, anthropology, and ethnic studies — areas that help us understand how to center design on people while expanding the conception of people we place at the center of transformational design projects.

The center will be built to influence the world of technologically mediated work through all means necessary: design of promising models, citizen engagement, and policy expertise. To do so credibly, our research will draw on rigorous analyses of politics, economy, and culture — expertise adequate to the spheres we desire to influence — and combine it with the power of public demos and experiments to model the futures we hope to bring about.

Join Us

Are you a Design practitioner, student, or industry professional interested in getting involved with the Design Lab? Contact us, we want to hear from you.

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