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Design-A-Thon: Mindshifts on Megafires

During fire season, it has become the norm to see front-page images of apocalyptic wildfires. A century of suppressing wildfires has created a dangerous accumulation of flammable vegetation on landscapes, contributing to megafires that risk human life and property and destroy ecosystems.

The Design-A-Thon brings together UC San Diego students from all disciplines and experience levels in a pitch-style competition to apply the Design Thinking process to proactive solutions to end destructive wildfires. All participants will be invited to present their submissions on April 20 after the Design@Large panel on Climate Risk Reduction and Technology.

Key dates and events:
-April 7 @ 4 PM - Design Challenge unveiled at kickoff
-April 15 - Registration & design-thinking workshop, lightning talks, and mentor sessions
-April 16 @ 11:59 PM - Submissions due
-April 20 @ 5 PM - Project showcase at Design@Large
Design@Large UCSD Design Lab

Design@Large Spring 2022

For the first time in the nearly 10-year history of the Design@Large speaker series the UC San Diego Design Lab is partnering with California 100, an initiative focused on identifying and uplifting transformative ideas, people, and projects through research and engagement that accelerate progress towards a shared vision of California’s future over the next century.

**This will be a hybrid event (in-person and remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.

- 4/13, Alternative Transportation Futures
- 4/20, Climate Risk Reduction and Technology
- 4/27, Housing Justice and Urban Design
- 5/11, Transborder Regions and Immigrant Integration
- 5/18, Future Prospects in Health Equity and Tech Innovation
- 5/25, The Future of Work and Higher Education

There will be no Design@Large classes on 04/06, 05/04 or 06/01.
There are no speakers on 03/30, but class will still take place for students.
Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

In commemoration of the Grand Opening of the new Design & Innovation Building, The Design Lab hosted a showcase of projects and activities on Thursday, November 18. UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students were invited to attend, along with special invitees from the San Diego community such as design practitioners, as well as industry and government partners. The Design & Innovation Building will allow The Design Lab to serve an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, staff, and community partners that are working to solve the most complex societal problems with design.
Building New Bridges: San Diego and Tijuana’s Combined Bid Breaks Down Barriers to Bi-National Cooperation

Building New Bridges: San Diego and Tijuana’s Combined Bid Breaks Down Barriers to Bi-National Cooperation

As dusk hovered over The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park on October 3 at the ‘Welcome Home, Bienvenido a Casa’ event, reflections off the San Diego Bay illuminated an evening of excited anticipation more than five years in the making. Will the San Diego-Tijuana megaregion take home the win in their bid to be the 2024 World Design Capital? Or will it be their competitors, Moscow?

Hosting the event and spearheading the San Diego-Tijuana bid initiative is the interorganizational collaboration of Design Forward Alliance, UC San Diego Design Lab and the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, with the full support of the City of San Diego and City of Tijuana and regional elected officials. This collective was created to amplify San Diego’s capacity as a global leader in human-centered design-driven innovation. The combined communities of art, culture, business, education, civic and design worked together in a multi-year, multi-national collaboration culminating in this night of solidarity for the joint-effort to win the coveted World Design Capital designation—a year-long city promotion program that would begin in 2024 and put the region on the global stage as a world-class innovator of economic, social, cultural and environmental design solutions for a better society.

“It’s not just about gaining the World Design Capital title,” said the Director of The Design Lab, Mai Thi Nguyen. “It’s about how we actually want to contribute and collaborate on multidisciplinary design innovation throughout the region, nationally and globally.”
The Idea Lab: A Collaboration Preparing Students for the Future

The Idea Lab: A Collaboration Preparing Students for the Future

As humans, we tend to compartmentalize ourselves as being either logical or creative thinkers. Rarely do we realize that everything we contemplate and create is better when we are both. This unification of both solutions-oriented entrepreneurship and nonlinear design thinking is the foundation of a new UC San Diego student program called the Idea Lab.

The program is a part of UC San Diego’s commitment to being an innovation catalyst and to cultivating future leaders, according to Michèle Morris, Associate Director of The Design Lab. “The Idea Lab program focuses on preparing our students to step into the 21st-century job market with the mindset and skills needed to address today’s challenges with solutions that are not necessarily directed and linear,” she explains. “Being able to navigate ambiguity, engage strategically and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, and tactically operate in an inclusive, wholistic manner is no longer simply important, it is essential.”

The Idea Lab pilot program was launched in Fall 2020 and is itself a collaboration between two unique centers within UC San Diego’s innovation ecosystem: Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC)/The Basement—a student startup incubator that provides entrepreneurial and leadership programs; and The Design Lab—an interdisciplinary research and education community that prioritizes how humans are impacted by complex systems and technologies.
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