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Report: Military remains economic bright spot in San Diego

Design Lab member Michael Meyer discusses San Diego's defense economy during Covid with ABC 10 News San Diego.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have been no match for San Diego's defense economy, which a new report says keeps on growing.

The San Diego Military Advisory Council study says from the fiscal year 2020 to 2021, direct defense spending was $35.3 billion dollars, a 5.3 percent annual gain. Jobs grew 2 percent to nearly 349,112. In all, it made for a $55.2 billion dollar gross regional product.

"That means continued stability and economic prosperity for San Diego, buffered by, or provided by the military economy presence," said Michael Meyer, a professor at UC San Diego's Rady School of Management, which researched the report.

The study points out that military spending impacts more than the people employed by the federal government or serving on base or active duty. Instead, there's a multiplier effect in San Diego, with nearly 190,000 San Diegans employed by private companies contracting with the defense department -- such as in programming or shipbuilding.

"Retraining for electronics, computers, aviation, the engineering fields, the technical financial fields. That's all valuable and an effective way of getting into the military economy," Meyer said.
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Design Lab’s Edward Wang Wins NIH R21 For Work On Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang wins NIH R21 for work on Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who is a jointly appointed professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering in Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, wins a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 through the National Institute of Aging (NIA) for his work around transforming smartphones into pocket-sized personal health monitors. 

The NIA has selected Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who directs the Ubiquitous Data and Computing Lab, to receive NIH R21 funding for his work with Co-investigator Eric Granholm, Director of UCSD’s Center for Mental Health Technology (MHTech), to develop a smartphone app that can screen for early signs of cognitive decline indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). An NIH R21, also known as the Exploratory/Development Grant, provides support in the early and conceptual stages of a project’s development. As part of a national push towards combating the debilitating effects of AD, the National Institute of Aging looked towards funding novel ways to screen for AD through the use of digital technologies. 
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Announcing The New Graduate Student Specialization In Human-centered Design

Announcing the new Graduate Student Specialization in Human-centered Design

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Announcing the new Graduate Student Specialization in Human-centered Design in partnership with the UC San Diego Design Lab, Cognitive Science (CogSci), Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science (HWSPH).

The Design Graduate Specialization is a set of courses graduate students can choose to take that fit into their home degree program requirements. It is analogous to receiving a minor, but at the graduate level. The courses fit into their home program as either electives or as courses that were already part of their core requirements, plus the option to take courses from other programs taking part in the specialization outside of their home program. In addition, students will be required to take at least one course that explicitly addresses and discusses issues of power, privilege, and ethical responses. The Design Graduate Specialization is created so that it can be integrated into a one or two-year Master program or a Ph.D. program.
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Opinion: Becoming a World Design Capital would improve life in San Diego-Tijuana

San Diego Union Tribune Op-Ed by Mayor Todd Gloria

I believe that San Diego is one of the world’s greatest cities, and together with our sister city Tijuana, we form a dynamic, multicultural area unlike anywhere else. Both as a lifelong San Diegan and the mayor of San Diego, I am proud that our city is one of two finalists in the running to be selected as the World Design Capital in 2024. Earning this designation would highlight the unique character of our binational region and show the entire world that our diversity is our strength.

Just as design has continued to address complex challenges at our border and between our cities, we continue to improve the quality of life in San Diego through thoughtful, human-centered design. The transformation of the Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park, Waterfront Park and Liberty Station are only a few examples of how we’ve begun to think about public space differently in San Diego over the last decade.
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Opinion: The World Design Capital is more than an award. It’s a chance to solve problems.

San Diego Union Tribune Op-Ed by Tad Parzen and Eddie Matthews*
*Eddie Matthews is also a Designer-in-Residence with the UCSD Design Lab


Design and discovery are in our San Diego-Tijuana region’s DNA. We are risk-takers, a nimble community that has long fostered life-changing design and innovation to improve the world, save lives and sustain critical resources. San Diego-Tijuana has long been the epicenter of a binational design revolution.

In this inclusive spirit, a cross-border community of designers, activists and community leaders have joined together to submit the first binational bid to the World Design Organization to name San Diego-Tijuana the World Design Capital in 2024. This designation recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural and environmental development, and showcases best practices in sustainable, human-centered policy and innovation.

Every member of this region has something to contribute and the World Design Capital will be the centralized place for these binational design contributions, making the border immaterial by making design visible.
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