UC San Diego Design Lab is excited to welcome Eric Hekler, an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Public Health at UC San Diego. Hekler hails from Arizona State University where he was an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and the director of the Designing Health Lab. He has recently joined the Design Lab to work at the intersection of his interests in behavioral science, human-centered design, public health, and control systems engineering. Specifically, he wants to explore how to successfully identify and develop behavior change interventions to address unmet needs in our rapidly changing societal contexts.
Hekler is also the Director of the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems at the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego where he is looking to advance his research through studying the evolving digital technologies that are currently tackling complex health problems spanning individuals, families, communities, social networks, and populations.
In collaboration with Design Lab faculty and staff, Steven Dow, Eli Aronoff-Spencer, and Michèle Morris, Hekler is focused on securing grants that empower individuals to build scalable solutions that will drive smart and connected communities. Through leveraging his experience uniting a diversity of voices and perspectives as well as a collaboration with initiatives such as Design for San Diego (D4SD), he is looking forward to creating a sociotechnical platform for individuals to innovate around region-wide challenges such as transportation and housing. Design for San Diego, led by Steven Dow, Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science, presents advocates and passionate citizens with the unique opportunity to engage in the iterative process of design thinking to create transformative impact.
Additionally, Hekler and Morris are pioneering an effort to design a consulting service for local, national, and international partners who seek to incorporate human-centered design complemented with agile methods into their practices. The initiative revolves around spearheading workshops, design challenges, and large scale research projects to educate the broader community about human-centered design principles and effective methods of incorporating design thinking to craft meaningful and powerful solutions across a variety of fields and disciplines.
Each of these opportunities provides an avenue for Hekler to directly interface with and support a community of passionate individuals dedicated to achieving real and sustainable behavior change solutions through the integration of human-centered design. Hekler believes that The Design Lab is an incredible place to contribute to a forward-thinking organization that has a deep understanding of the importance of dynamically adapting solutions to meet the needs of different people and different real-world contexts.