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Ucsd Extension Design Bootcamp

Design Lab and UCSD Extension Team Up for Design Bootcamp

This past July, San Diego high school students embarked on a five-day dive into anthropology and design as part of Design Bootcamp, a collaboration between the UC San Diego Design Lab and UC San Diego Extension.

The class first emerged from the demand for design workshops in San Diego coupled with UC San Diego’s interest in offering classes to pre-collegiate students. “This first Research Scholars ‘Design Bootcamp,’ if you will, is our first prototype,” says Michele Morris, Design Lab Associate Director. “The needs of the University, the expertise of the Design Lab, and the community platforms of UC San Diego’s Extension all came together seamlessly.”

Mayya Azarova, a Design Lab Anthropology PhD candidate, joined the team as the Bootcamp’s inaugural instructor.  Coupling her background in anthropology with design, the team customized an offering focused around ethnography and empathy-building.
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Surveillance Technology San Diego

San Diego council committee unanimously approves ordinances targeting surveillance technology

Photo courtesy of John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune

A City Council committee on Wednesday unanimously approved two proposed ordinances geared at governing surveillance technologies in the city, an action sparked by sustained pushback from activists and others who were surprised and upset last year when it was revealed that San Diego had quietly installed cameras on streetlights throughout the city.

Lilly Irani, an associate professor at UC San Diego (and Design Lab faculty) who specializes in the ethics of technology, called the vote “a win for better governance in the long term.”

Irani helped draft the ordinances and assisted the organized opposition dubbed the TRUST San Diego coalition, which focuses on responsible surveillance in the region. The coalition was born out of concerns about one specific technology — so-called smart streetlights — and ultimately landed a seat at the table to draft the proposals.

“Without Councilmember Monica Montgomery championing this... there would be no table,” Irani said.
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Surveillance Drones San Diego

Chula Vista PD Approved For Broader Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement

Photo courtesy of Shalina Chatlani

The Chula Vista Police Department has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to broaden its use of drones.

Still, some academics say drones can be seen as a form of surveillance. And that having a video doesn’t necessarily mean that officers are making neutral decisions.

"Say you’re getting a call from someone acting erratic … like what would a drone be able to see that would discern a person screaming and waving their hands around as someone who needs intervention by the police, versus a mental health team?" said Lilly Irani, a professor of communication and technology at UC San Diego (and Design Lab faculty).

Even if officers are using video to see whether a situation is dangerous, human bias doesn’t just go away, she said.

"OK, so what type of visual symbols are you going to look for to discern the difference between dangerous and nondangerous?" Irani said.
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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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Recycling

I’m an expert on complex design systems. Even I can’t figure out recycling.

Part 1 of a FastCompany editorial on Recycling by Don Norman

Recycling: The concept is pretty simple. Throw away stuff that can be melted down, chopped up, and made back into useful stuff. The problem is, I don’t understand how to do it.

For one, it’s difficult to find out what can and cannot be recycled. There are so many different kinds of paper goods, plastics, and metals, and worst of all, so many things that are combinations of materials or exotic new inventions of material science, that no list could possibly include every possible case. Secondly, the rules vary from location to location, and even at one location they can change from year to year. (“Check frequently with your recycler to see what their current requirements are,” reads one of the websites that tries to be helpful.)
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