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Design Lab statement on protests, violence following George Floyd’s death

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Design Education Don Norman

The Future of Design Education

Don Norman, Design Lab Director, reports on "The Future of Design Education"

Many of you know that for a long time I have been partnering with IBM Design and The World Design Organization to rethink the curriculum for design.  This is a progress report.

The History

It all started in March 2014 when Scott Klemmer and I wrote a paper called "State of Design: How Design Education Must Change" published in LinkedIn. (Why LinkedIn? Because of the wide, diverse readership: This paper has been read by 50,167 people, with 93 comments.)

Design Lab

When Scott, Jim Hollan, and I started the Design Lab, we knew what we did NOT wish to do: build a traditional design education. Our training was rich and varied, and we wanted our students to have a similarly broad education. We wanted to do things that made a real difference in the world. After all, our origin was from Cognitive Science and computers -- Human Behavior and Technology, Design is an applied field that requires multi-disciplinary approaches to important, difficult issues.
Human-cemtered Design

Community-Based, Human-Centered Design

Don Norman, Design Lab Director & Eli Spencer, Design Lab Faculty

We propose a radical change in design from experts designing for people to people designing for themselves. In the traditional approach, experts study, design, and implement solutions for the people of the world. Instead, we propose that we leverage the creativity within the communities of the world to solve their own problems: This is community-driven design, taking full advantage of the fact that it is the people in communities who best understand their problems and the impediments and affordances that impede and support change. Experts become facilitators, by mentoring and providing tools, toolkits, workshops, and support.

The principles of human-centered design have proven to be effective and productive. However, its approach is generally used in situations where professionals determine the needs of the target populations and then develop products and procedures to address the needs. This is Top-Down design: starting with higher-level conceptualizations and then refining the ideas and concepts to specific instances of products or services. This works well for mass produced items which only allows limited specialization for individual needs and requirements.
Design Lab Uc San Diego Don Norman Creative Education

Rethinking Design Education

Don Norman, Design Lab Director

The Challenge

The requirements of the 21st century are quite different than those of earlier years. New needs continually arise, along with new tools, technologies, and materials. Designers are starting to address some of the major societal issues facing the planet. Does design education prepare them to work with and lead the multidisciplinary teams required to work on these complex sociotechnical systems?

The Origins

We are embarking on a serious effort to rethink design education for the 21st century. We started with the multiple thoughtful articles in two special issues of the journal She Ji on design education (download from our website). This inspired us to assemble a team of senior designers from academia and business to serve as a steering committee to start a large effort to rethink design education.

Bringing Order to Chaos: How to Increase Productivity By Mastering Unstructured Time

Podcast with Design Lab member Amy Fox

In this episode we will talk to UCSD Cognitive Scientist, Amy Fox, about Structured and Unstructured time. Join us as we learn about the difference between the two, and tips and tricks that can help you organize and boost your productivity.

Triton Tools & Tidbits is a podcast that is focused on discussing topics that will engage and enrich student life and education. Brought to you by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
Waste Management

Waste is an enormous problem. But recycling is the wrong solution.

Part 2 of a FastCompany editorial on Recycling by Don Norman

I am proud to be one of the developers of what is today called human-centered design. That is design that always starts off understanding the needs, capabilities, and desires of people. It has four basic principles, all four of which are being violated by today’s recycling craze.

Recycling is broken. There’s little clarity about what can and can’t be recycled, and the rules change from one city to the next, and sometimes even within the same city. According to the World Bank, we produce 1.4 billion tons of waste a year worldwide, a figure that’s expected to increase to 2.4 billion tons by 2025. Waste is an enormous problem that needs to be addressed if we’re going to prevent the worst effects of climate change. But recycling is the wrong solution.
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