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The Designer-in-Residence program (DiR) at the Design Lab is a core part of the Design Lab’s engagement with “the real world” and commitment to evidence-based design practices.

The Designer-in-Residence program (DiR) provides practitioners and leaders in industry, government, community and design an opportunity to work in the Design Lab’s interdisciplinary setting at the intersection of education, research, and application.

Under the Design Lab directorship of Don Norman, the residency program offers access and collaboration with UC San Diego’s leading design practitioners and researchers, student design talent, and alumni on a topic or project of mutual interest. Additionally, a vital aspect of the program is the general exchange of knowledge, skills and ideas. Designers-in-Residence are invited to participate in all general Design Lab activities and events and asked to contribute to the learning environment through their choice of interactive presentation, project feedback, collaboration on research and community opportunities, etc.

The program is designed to be flexible and customizable according to individual and organizational needs and expectations (e.g., duration, time spent in the Design Lab, project scope, deliverables, etc.) We understand the importance and benefits of being less focused on logistic constraints and more on meaningful content and outcomes that fit into participants’ busy lives.

Please contact Design Lab Associate Director Michèle Morris at

Come join us!


Brian LeDuc serves as a designer in residence at the Design Lab, translating his experiences working with Universities and individuals to navigate the emerging challenges of the future of work to his work in the San Diego community at UCSD.

Brian has spent his career authoring experiences and strategies to help students and administrators adapt to the emerging realities of higher education and work. He’s contributed to nationally recognized programs for students and supported projects resulting in transformative improvement of student outcomes [I], receiving national recognition in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, and Inside Higher Ed. He collided with the Lab when he launched San Diego’s first Service Jam event in partnership with the local community, and he’s excited to engage as a designer in residence to explore ways that we create non-traditional pathways for individuals to learn and find their next adventure using a set of open-source tools called Looping Method
which he shares through his work as co-founder of career accelerator Best Monday Ever.

Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roger Williams University and his master’s in educational administration from Texas A&M. When he’s not at the Lab, teaching or using design with higher education administrators, or helping career changers, you can find him on a golf course, in a kayak, in a brewery with an IPA, or playing his guitar. You can connect with him on Linked, follow him on Twitter, or learn more about his work here.

Mark Hansen has a passion for family, creating, teaching, community, and making a difference.

Mark is a Senior Manager of Software Engineering at a major aerospace company where he has 15+ years of experience leading cross-functional teams in the development and transition of mission critical technologies for air and space vehicles.

As a member of the Precious Plastic community, Mark is helping to eliminate plastic waste through recycling and micro manufacturing. He is working to advance the equipment, break the current take/waste economy, and inform others of the current challenges.

Mark has a B.S in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University, a M.Eng. in Realtime Embedded Systems from Arizona State University, and an Executive Master in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University.

You can connect with Mark on Linked In.

Andrew Krause

Photo and biography coming soon

Emilia Pucci is an Interaction and UX designer with a multicultural background with a specialization in wearable technology and soft circuits.

After building an emotion-driven design consultancy in San Diego and creating interactive garments for human well-being in Mexico, she is now working as a UX designer by day while developing her smart garments and facilitating soft circuit workshops.

Her passions include digital fabrication, yoga, dance, drawing, sculpture, making food and fostering body-mind wellbeing.

Her dream is a world where collaborative circular economies are the rule, not the exception.

She is available for collaborations, talks and workshop facilitation. 

Grace Rieger

Biography coming soon

Laura Spencer, a former middle and high school teacher, has focused her educational career on leading transformational change through Design Thinking and real-world connections that provide students with extraordinary learning experiences. She is recognized for her work developing innovative K-12 instructional programs; delivering engaging professional development to support teacher growth; and building the technical infrastructure to make sure those programs are a success. She’s been honored as an Innovative Educator, Administrator of the Year, and San Diego County Top Tech Exec, as well as recently winning CUE’s Gold Disk award and the Classroom of the Future Foundation Innovate Award.

Laura shares her ideas by presenting at conferences around the country, as well as blogging at She also serves as the President of SDCUE, the San Diego affiliate of CUE (Computer Using Educators) and is a Founding Board Member of EquityEDU.

Daniel Suh loves data, design, and diplomacy.

Daniel is a data analytics and data visualization expert who empowers government, military, and nonprofit clients to discover strategic insights and share their most impactful stories. He founded a pro-bono consulting group of 50+ members within Booz Allen Hamilton that provides design thinking, data science, and change management services to dozens of nonprofits at local, national, and international levels. As the Founding Curator of Global Shapers in San Diego, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, Daniel leads a team of highly accomplished young professionals to launch community projects that promote education, equality, and civic participation. Daniel serves on San Diego’s International Affairs Board, as a mayoral appointee, to develop an international strategy for the city.

His passion is to help build San Diego’s future as the world’s capital for technology, design, and community inclusion.

Daniel earned his bachelor’s degree in Management Science (B.S.) from UCSD.

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