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The Home of Interdisciplinary Design

Focused on providing research, education, and community interaction to advance best practices in human-centered design and to address complex problems facing society.

Education

We offer education in human-centered design, including an undergraduate Design Minor and the Design Graduate Specialization).

Research

Our research focuses on building a substantive body of theory and evidence-based insights to establish a scientific basis for design.

Application

The Design Lab provides opportunities for new Design Practitioners, Faculty, Research Staff, PhD Students, and Undergraduate Students to collaborate.

San Diego Tijuana World Design Capital 2024 Campus Convening

Mark the date and participate! The Design Lab will host the San Diego Tijuana World Design Capital 2024 Campus Convening on December 9th, from 2pm to 5pm, at the Design & Innovation Building, Room 202. The event will feature the opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to share summary details about their research projects. Submit yours here.

Frontier Design Prize Announces Winners at World Design Cities Conference

Shanghai, September 15, 2022 | The Frontier Design Prize announced the winners of its inaugural edition during the opening ceremony of the World Design Cities Conference (WDCC).  Mr. QU Xing, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. GONG Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, Ms. XU Xiaolan, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology (China), along with leading designers, scholars and industry leaders, attended the award ceremony. The Frontier Design Prize (FDP) is a visionary, innovative, world-class design award established with the aims of encouraging design innovation, enhancing the impact of design in driving industrial transformation, and promoting the role of design in shaping a better world. A central program of WDCC, it is undertaken by Design Innovation Institute Shanghai (DIIS) with guidance from the Shanghai Municipal Government. 
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Indigenous knowledge and advocacy is now seen as vital to the fight against climate change

As nations develop strategies to combat climate change, they're beginning to turn to solutions from the indigenous communities that have been on the front lines of the efforts to protect the planet.

A 2021 report from the indigenous rights organization, the ICCA, details just how much the rest of the world depends on indigenous communities for preserving planetary health.

"In Latin America and the Caribbean, Indigenous and tribal peoples manage between 330 and 380 million hectares of forest," the ICCA report said. "Those forests store more than one-eighth of all the carbon in the world’s tropical forests and house a large portion of the world’s endangered animal and plant species. Almost half (45 per cent) of the large ‘wilderness’ areas in the Amazon Basin are in Indigenous territories and several studies have found that Indigenous peoples’ territories have lower rates of deforestation and lower risk of wildfires than state protected areas."
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Keolu Fox: Decoding the past to build a better future

Growing up, National Geographic Explorer Keolu Fox heard the stories of his intrepid ancestors as told by generations before. He comes from a line of voyagers who traversed oceans thousands of years ago aboard canoes fueled only by manpower and wind.

They eventually founded settlements on islands across the Pacific, including in Fox’s native Hawaii, and their characteristics as wayfinders live on not only as part of Indigenous oral history—the traits are inscribed in their DNA.

But modern-day Indigenous genomes tell a more complex story, Fox explains. The earliest settlers’ history is as much about crossing oceanic highways as it is about the troubles of resettlement and colonialism. By decoding these truths, Fox, a geneticist and Indigenous rights activist, is working to ensure Native communities are spearheading the future.
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