skip to Main Content

News Archive

View our collection of Human-Centered Design related articles from our Design Lab members.

Can San Diego — Tijuana region be World Design Capital?

Read the San Diego Union Tribune article by columnist Diane Bell about the World Design Capital bid.

San Diego, together with Tijuana, has placed a bid to be designated the 2024 World Design Capital , a selection that will be finalized this October.

A San Diego nonprofit called the Design Forward Alliance was created with the help of numerous community and design groups to coordinate with Tijuana representatives and prepare the bid package.

Michèle Morris, associate director of the UCSD Design Lab and president of the Design Forward Alliance, is very optimistic about this region’s chances for success.

“We do feel confident that we will make the short list,” she says. Morris also is associate director of the Design Lab at UC San Diego, which helped launch the alliance in 2016 following an inaugural Design Forward Summit in downtown San Diego.

Win or lose, Morris notes that the bidding process has strengthened ties and fostered new creative ideas for our region.
read more

Grace Rieger on Designing for Healthcare | Design Chats

How might we use design to improve the efficiency of hospital operating rooms? Hear from Grace Rieger, Designer-in-Residence, as she talks us through one of her projects.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
Sean Cross

Sean Kross explains the uses of The Wizard of Oz Technique in Design | Design Chats

Sean Kross, Graduate Student at UC San Diego, explains The Wizard of Oz Technique in design and what benefits it provides for designers.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
Brian LeDuc

Brian Leduc on Learning Agility & Career Changers | Design Chats

Brian LeDuc, Design Lab Designer-In-Residence, talks about his work on creating resources for career changers.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
How I Talked To My Daughter About Body Image

How I talked to my daughter-and myself-about body image

Design Lab member Shannon Master recently had her article published in TIME magazine's special edition on weight loss! Her work can be found on shelves across the nation from April 12 - July 12.

Below is an excerpt from Shannon's essay Does this mean I'm a real writer? where she discusses the article for TIME magazine.

"How I talked to my daughter-and myself-about body image...tackles important social issues surrounding body-image for young girls, their mothers, and women at large. It offers research on how mothers can not only help stop the cycle of negative body image in their young daughters, but also how moms as women themselves can work to improve their own body-image. I was surprised that the editors changed very little, except for the title, which is amazing considering this thing magically ejected itself out of me in a matter of days, rather than the weeks and months I can work on something that never sees the light of day. It looks pretty spiffy in its new home, complete with updated statistics and accompanying photos across an eight-page spread; eight pages of my words about how we can reframe our own body images as mothers, in order to help our girls have everything we never had—confidence and self-esteem with an unwavering sense of worth—in a frickn’ national publication."

read more
Earth2 Project Challenges Vaccines

Earth2 Project Challenges Vaccines, 10 to 100, Ten Days to Vaccinate Everyone

"In collaboration with the University of New Mexico, the Earth2 project is helping to present a 10 day series of seminars on Vaccines and Vaccine Hesitancy, covering topics that range from vaccine-myths to Native American implications and special aspects having to do with other minority and LGBTQ communities, to hearing trusted voices." - David Brin, Author, Futurist, Public Speaker

"Solving the most complex societal programs involves a whole community approach. That's why I'm so excited about the Earth 2 Challenge to reach 100% vaccination which will make our society healthier and safer. But to succeed, we need everyone to participate." - Mai Nguyen, Design Lab Director, UC San Diego
read more
Enrique Zavala

Enrique Zavala on Empathy in Design | Design Chats

Enrique Zavala, Research Assistant at UC San Diego, speaks on the importance of being empathetic in design research.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
Design@Large UCSD Design Lab

Design@Large Spring 2021

Spring Quarter 2021 Design@Large Speaker Series

Note: The class for UC San Diego students will be provided virtually.

There will be a limited number of slots for external attendees to register to attend the talks virtually. The slots will be on a first-registered basis.

- Vanessa Ferrel (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
- Azhelle Wade (The Toy Coach)
- David Fortin (Laurentian University)
- Inioluwa Deborah Raji (Mozilla/Project Include)
- Osei Appiah (Ohio State University)
- Steven Wakabayashi (QTBIPOC Design)
read more
UX Design Tips From Experience Designer Emilia Pucci

UX Design Tips from Experience Designer Emilia Pucci | Design Chats

Emilia Pucci, Design Lab Designer-in-Residence, shares some useful tips on User Experience Research and Prototyping.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
Philip Guo

Philip Guo on Storytelling in Design | Design Chats

Philip Guo, Design Lab member and Associate Professor in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, speaks on the importance of capturing stories during the design process.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
read more
Announcing Director Design Lab

Announcing Appointment of Mai Thi Nguyen, Director of The Design Lab

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen as the next Faculty Director of the Design Lab, effective March 24, 2021.

Dr. Nguyen holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. in Sociology from Pennsylvania State University. She is an associate professor in the department of City & Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she directs the Center for Community Capital, a non-partisan, multi-disciplinary research center housed within the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Nguyen additionally directs the Academic Leadership Program at UNC-CH, providing leadership training and mentorship to cohorts of academic leaders. She also serves as Director of the Equity and Resilience Lab, whose members are dedicated to the inquiry of equity and resilience in urban planning and public policy.
read more
Eating Disorders

Health Tracking Apps Provide a Worrying Pipeline to Eating Disorders. Better Tech Design Can Fix That.

Image Credit: Getty

In an email to The Swaddle, Design Lab member Elizabeth Eikey discuss her research into the behaviors of women with eating disorders who also used weight loss apps.

“Users go through stages of use and report both positive and negative effects of the app at these various stages,” Eikey writes. “As users reflect back on their journey, they talk a great deal about the negative effects of the app during the early stages of use. However, when they first began using the app, they often did not realize their behaviors were indicative of an eating disorder and even found the app helpful.”

Even though Eikey’s research states that some users could self-motivate themselves to recover with the help of the app, the fact that the app pushed them towards or exacerbated an eating disorder is damning enough.

Eikey explains that disordered eating and unhealthy weight loss practices are common, and therefore cannot be ignored as a fringe problem that doesn’t affect the majority of an app’s user base. “Even if a person doesn’t meet the ‘threshold’ for a clinical eating disorder, that doesn’t mean that they never experience negative emotions related to their body and food. Everyone has mental health, and it fluctuates,” she says.
read more
Ford People-centered Automation

Ford Gifts $50K to Design Lab People-Centered Automation

Colleen Emmenegger, Head of People-Centered Automation at The Design Lab, was recently the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Ford Motor Company. The grant was awarded for her work regarding how drivers can understand, negotiate, and manage shared autonomy with their vehicles in a way that is accessible and easily translatable.

“We're trying to figure out if you can build a contract with the driver and her automated vehicle co-pilot so the driver knows exactly what they need to do and what the system does," says Emmenegger. "We're trying to build something that explicitly and continuously communicates, and that doesn't act as an invisible ‘controlling entity’ of the car. A system that provides dynamic, yet constant feedback to the driver and not sudden, startling warnings." 
read more
Daniel Suh Designer-in-residence

Meet Designer-in-Residence & Data Analyst Daniel Suh

Daniel Suh has always been passionate about creating partnerships to uplift others. While he was an undergraduate at UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College, he founded one of the university’s first student consulting organizations, Cornerstone Community Consultants, which provides pro-bono opportunities for students to empower the local community. Suh also established UCSD’s first chapter of International Justice Mission, a student-led organization that centers around human rights, anti-human trafficking, and law enforcement. "Growing up in an underprivileged community, I've discovered a passion for social justice and contributing to causes larger than myself," Suh says.
read more
Benjamin Bergen

Design Lab member Benjamin Bergen featured as an expert in “History of Swear Words”

Picture Credit: Netflix

Design Lab member and UC San Diego Cognitive Science professor Benjamin Bergen was featured as an expert in "History of Swear Words," a new Netflix comedy series exploring the usage of and science behind cursing. Bergen is the author of "What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves" and "Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning"

Watch the full series now on Netflix!
read more
Albert Lin National Geographic

Design Lab member Albert Lin hosted 3 National Geographic series, using technology to uncover lost cities, treasures, and secrets

Full length episodes available for streaming on the Disney+ app.

Lost Cities With Albert Lin: “Lost Cities brings adventure, science, and archaeology together through our host Albert Lin. Our ambitious approach applies 3D scanning to some of the most extraordinary sites of antiquity."

Lost Treasures Of The Maya: “National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin ventures into the Guatemalan jungle to explore how a new high-tech treasure map is revealing tens of thousands of ancient ruins.”

Buried Secrets of The Bible With Albert Lin: “Albert Lin seeks out the truth behind two great stories of the Bible. To solve these mysteries, Albert will use satellites and space-age technology to look beneath the earth’s surface to reveal secrets that have been buried for thousands of years.”
read more
Idea Lab Design Lab

IDEA LAB Spring 2021

In collaboration with UC San Diego The Design Lab and The Basement, the Idea Lab is a quarter-long foundational program designed to introduce students to the ideas of design thinking and how it complements entrepreneurship through hands-on experiences and collaborative work with students from a variety of academic disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives.  This program is ideal for both students who want to learn about design thinking and for students who need help getting “unstuck” from their current problem space.  Participants who successfully complete the program requirements of the Idea Lab may have the option to continue their journey with a focus on entrepreneurship in The Basement’s Summer Converge Program.

Application opens Monday, Feb. 1st at 12PM noon, closes Sunday, Feb. 21st @ 11:59pm
read more
Ailie Fraser UCSD Design Lab

Ailie Fraser Aims to Support People Doing Creative Tasks with Software

“There’s so much helpful content available now, but how can it be understood and consumed by a novice?” asks Ailie Fraser, a PhD graduate, “That’s what I’m interested in answering.” She is a part of a generation of upcoming design innovators, working collaboratively with The Design Lab. Her recently published dissertation aims to support people doing creative tasks with software specifically by leveraging resources generated by experts and bringing them into the context of people's workflows; in order to make them simpler to navigate and understand.

Fraser received her PhD from UCSD in Computer Science this past spring, and is now working full-time as a Research Engineer at Adobe Research. During her PhD, she completed three internships with Adobe Research. During her first internship, she focused on the domain of photo editing in Photoshop and addressed the problems novices experience when they begin to use the application. Due to the plethora of features and tools offered by the service, it can often be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with Photoshop.
read more
San Diego Design Week Scripps

San Diego Design Week Celebrates Creativity and Innovation

"Everyone is a designer ... Design is a way of thinking — a way to change things for good."
Don Norman reflects on the evolution and future of design in San Diego in this San Diego Union-Tribune article. San Diego's first Design Week, a milestone event, happened from Sept. 9-13.

(Courtesy photo by Darren Bradley)
read more
Design Lab Faculty

New Design Lab Faculty Working to Shape the Future of UC San Diego

As a global pioneer in design thinking, research, and invention, The Design Lab prides itself on recruiting the brightest and most innovative minds in the design field. Today, we would like to extend a warm welcome to brand new faculty members Elizabeth Eikey, Haijun Xia, and Edward Wang!

Elizabeth Eikey
From a first-generation undergraduate student at Penn State, then an inquisitive Best Buy employee and finally, to the Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health & The Design Lab at UCSD, Dr. Elizabeth Eikey has an illustrious career. Her research work at The Design Lab focuses on the intersection between technology, mental health, and equity, primarily studying the possible applications for technology in supporting mental health and well-being.

Haijun Xia
After receiving his PhD in Computer Science from University of Toronto, Xia made the move across countries to begin his time as a researcher at UC San Diego. ‘I wanted to work at The Design Lab and UC San Diego, because of the diversity of skill here,’ says the Professor, ‘We are all approaching the many challenging research questions from different angles, which is really important to develop comprehensive solutions.

Edward Wang
When Edward Wang was an undergraduate student at Harvey Mudd, he never expected himself to become a researcher, let alone becoming a professor. It was only after a Professor offered him the chance to help design a course she was planning about biosignal processing, that he began on this path. ‘As I was designing the class over summer, I had to read a bunch of papers,’ he says, ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool all of it was. Especially when it branched out into computer science and how it could be involved in biosignal processes.’
read more
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.
read more
Ucsd Designers In Residence Community Driven

Designers in Residence Support Community-Driven Design Initiatives

In 2019, Grace Reiger and Brian LeDuc uprooted from Washington, DC and set out across the country together for San Diego. They brought them with a wealth of knowledge in community building around design, education and career development. Driven with a mission to spearhead community design initiatives and active communities across San Diego they saw a huge opportunity in bridging their work in Washington, DC with the needs of the San Diego community around service and career design.

"Grace and Brian really exemplify what we strive for in the Design Lab. A community first approach to design - one built on identifying challenges and jointly coming up with tangible solutions with and for those in need of them. We are extremely lucky to have two Designers in Residence on board who embody those principles."

- Michele Morris, Associate Director, Design Lab
read more
Sd Design Trek Ucsd

Design Trek Brings San Diego Design Community Together

This past March, SD Design Trek took students and early-UX career professionals on a three-day showcase of design companies in San Diego to gain a firsthand look at what the local design community has to offer. The March 4 kickoff and showcase took place just down the hall from the Design Lab, in Atkinson Hall’s Auditorium. 

The event commenced with the words of keynote speaker, Amish Desai, who graduated from UCSD in 2003 with a Cognitive Science HCI degree and currently serves as the VP of Experiences at Moonshot. “[The talk] was about being design minded, in terms of design being much more than a craft and is actually a driver for business growth,” he says. “The idea is to instill some lessons I learned in the last 17 years as to why the importance of design is not just beautiful things but is also about doing experiments and making, driving cultural changes, creating experiences, analytics, and having business rigor.”
read more
Benjamin Bratton Ucsd Design Lab

Benjamin Bratton: Social Theories for Planetary-Scale Computation

How is technology ahead of our concepts and models of ourselves? Listen to Benjamin Bratton, Design Lab member and UC San Diego Visual Arts professor, speak on social theories for planetary-scale computation on The Rhys Show podcast
read more
Diabetes Design

Diabetes Design Initiative Presents Community Challenge Designs To Over 50 Stakeholders

Photo Courtesy of Matt Chesin

This Wednesday, September 2nd, the Diabetes Design Initiative presented the culmination of an entire summer of work to over 50 stakeholders in the healthcare industry. The team shared a prototype that will redefine the way how diabetes is explained without numbers and a new design to simplify data sharing.

Led by Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, director of the Center for Health Design, Design Lab fellow Lars Müller, and Ben West, a nightscout developer, DDI is re-thinking how healthcare technology is designed.
read more
Surveillance Technology San Diego

In San Diego, ‘Smart’ Streetlights Spark Surveillance Reform

Photo: Google Streetview

Lilly Irani, Design Lab member and UCSD Communications professor, was recently quoted in a Bloomberg City Lab piece on surveillance in San Diego. Read more about the "smart streetlight" program, privacy concerns, and new legislation efforts here.

“With body-worn cameras, and with the streetlights footage, and with drone footage, the people who have the money to maintain those technologies and control the data flow of those technologies get to control who gets access to the footage and who gets to narrate its public meaning,” said Irani.
read more
Subtance Addiction Digital Health

The Digital Health Landscape in Addiction and Substance Use Research: Will Digital Health Exacerbate or Mitigate Health Inequities in Vulnerable Populations?

A new paper from Design Lab member Camille Nebeker

Novel and emerging digital health technologies are increasingly used in substance use and addiction-related self-management and treatment research. The promise of digital health is exciting, yet there are important factors regarding population characteristics to consider prior to using novel technologies with vulnerable populations. This paper by Camille Nebeker, Design Lab member and UCSD Behavioral Medicine professor, and Dina Hamideh reports a review of scientific literature published between 2015 and early 2020 on the use of digital health strategies in research focused on substance use and addiction in vulnerable populations.
read more

Designing UC San Diego’s New Trolley Stop | Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Watch the 14-minute Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Over 250 UC San Diego students, neighbors, and future transit users gathered on April 6-7, 2019 for the first-ever Designathon: an intensive, immersive event where interdisciplinary teams design solutions for real-world challenges. This Designathon focused on the Pepper Canyon Station, which aspires to be an ecologically, socially, and technologically friendly mobility hub on the UCSD campus, set to open in 2020.

Executive Producer: Michele Morris
Producers & Directors: Stephanie Sherman, Ash Eliza Smith, Ian Strelsky
Camera Operators: Clint Evangelista, Qiyi Fan, Alice Medrano, Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Editors: Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Story Consultant: Griffin Middelson
Animators: Weilun Yao, Lilly Gee
Sound Designers: Steven Phung
Music Composers: Remy Rose, Riain Hager, Forrest Reid
read more
Design Lab Ucsd Elderly

Design for older people sucks. Here are four ways to fix it

Digital Arts editorial with Stefan Sagmeister and Design Lab Director Don Norman on designing for sixty-somethings.

Beginning in May, Alive Ventures launched a series of ongoing panels titled “Old People are Cool, Design for Them Sucks”, aiming to open up a discussion with the design community on how to better design for older adults. John Zapolski, founder of Alive Ventures, and design thought leader Ayse Birsel of Birsel + Seck, hosted the series of discussions, with guests including design luminaries such as Stefan Sagmeister and Don Norman.

“When I would visit him in retirement homes, I would see people who needed walkers and wouldn’t use them because it was a stigma,” said Norman. “They were so ugly and it sort of shouts out to the world, ‘Hey I’m old and crippled and therefore probably feeble minded as well,’ right? Well no, it’s wrong. And so I noticed that, but I didn’t pay much attention until I myself reached my eighties and started looking at my friends and other things and realised that, yes, people shunned a lot of things that are being made to help them because they don’t like to admit publicly they have problems.” - Don Norman
read more
Anti-racism Ucsd Design Lab

Studio Sessions – Power, Privilege, and Ethical Responses: Anti-Racism

In these times of critical conversations about civic and social justice, equity and inclusion, the Design Lab is sponsoring a series on Power, Privilege, and Ethical Responses (PPER). Our current focus is on anti-racism, specifically as it pertains to our black communities.

Part of this initiative is a series of Studio Sessions, designed to share tools that address the experiences of our black community, in hopes of bridging existing gaps between the historical precedent and current calls to action. These interactive sessions are meant to be a dialogue nurturing communication and self-reflection to build empathy and ethical responsibility amongst participants.

By utilizing Human Centered Design we can move from current structures of racism to a more inclusive system for all. Expert speakers address issues affecting our Black community ranging from the structures of Anti-blackness and White Fragility to Voter Suppression, Education, the School to Prison Pipeline, Environmental Racism, and much more. By bringing awareness to these issues in real-time, we can feel safe and move into reinforcing behaviors of oneness in real-time using the Design process and civic engagement elements of the training.
read more
Cancer Care Kentucky Design Lab Ucsd

Experiencing Cancer in Appalachian Kentucky

A new paper from The Design Lab's Melanie McComsey and Eliah Aronoff-Spencer describes a new framework for improving #cancer care in Appalachian Kentucky. The project would leverage broadband connectivity and cancer communication research to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.

Nothing tells the story of people working together better than a community quilt. A diversity of talents, colors, and materials brought together through skill and shared purpose. Perhaps never before have we as Americans needed a stronger reminder that many hands make short work of big problems. The work presented here by the L.A.U.N.C.H. Collaborative offers a new framework for health care that could be compared to a digital quilt, powered by community-based participatory design, with lived expertise and the newest advances in broadband-enabled connected health solutions. This work demonstrates the value and need to engage local communities and what can be learned when beneficiaries and traditional caregivers work together to develop healthcare solutions.
read more
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.
read more
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.
read more
Human-centered 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.
read more
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.
read more
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.
read more
Ucsd Logo Design Lab

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

The Design Lab stands in solidarity with the Black community in the fight against racial injustice. We condemn all acts of police brutality and violence that led to the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and countless other members of the Black community.

We condemn all acts of discrimination. We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement and their efforts to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe. We recognize that these acts of violence are deeply rooted in a history of systemic racism, and we understand that design plays a large role in influencing whether our structures and technologies support or further oppress people of color. We vow to use our platform, position, and privileges to fight for a more equitable future. 
read more
Ucsd Logo Design Lab

Message from Don Norman on Power and Prejudice

A message from Don Norman, Director of the Design Lab, regarding the protests, violence following George Floyd’s death
read more

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.
read more
Mobile Health

Focus on mobile health: Scientists develop app to diagnose, treat leishmaniasis

Photo courtesy of Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas

Cutaneous leishmaniasis - caused by bites from infected sandflies - produces skin lesions that leave behind both scars and stigma that last a lifetime. Up to 1.2 million new cases are diagnosed each year across the 90 countries where the disease exists, including Colombia.

“Leishmaniasis happens where the medical system isn't," says Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, a Fogarty mHealth grantee at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He's been working in rural Colombia to bridge the access gap between remote communities and the public health system, using a mobile tool that empowers community health workers to identify new cases of the disease and monitor treatment.
read more
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.
read more

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.)
read more
Design Lab Global

Design Lab Gains Global Perspective with New Student Program

The Design Lab is launching the Global Scholars program this spring quarter, an exciting new initiative for graduate-student learning.

Known for creating human-centered design solutions that focus heavily on users’ needs and behaviors, the Design Lab, located within the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, is home to an impressive team of interdisciplinary designers, engineers, technologists, scientists and business leaders who work on large-scale complex socio-technical challenges regionally and beyond.
read more
LAUNCH_Design Lab

LAUNCH: A new community innovation platform will empower rural cancer patients

A new web platform released by LAUNCH (Linking & Amplifying User-Centered Networks through Connected Health), a public-private collaboration of which the University of California San Diego Design Lab is a founding member, will enable community-led connected cancer innovation. The platform, “LAUNCHPAD,” may be found at

"This contextual research demonstrates the complexity of community-based design. It shows how faith, independence, and family are critical to understanding healthcare. Many standard methods of applying community-based workers completely ignore these issues." - Don Norman, Design Lab Director
read more
Ucsd San Diego

Civic Design – DSGN 160: Open Enrollment

This studio course explores how to design products, services, and policies for complex socio-technical systems. The class will follow a human-centered design process that includes user research, concept generation, prototyping, pitching, and alliance building. Students will work in teams to design solutions to civic challenges affecting people in the San Diego region. This will be a good course for intermediate to advanced design students who want to build up their portfolio and to practice their skills with sketching, storyboarding, prototyping, and evaluating services for real-world problems.

As part of this class, teams will enter the Design for San Diego 2020 challenge ( and interact with other innovators, experts, and mentors throughout the city to address problems related to Mobility, Health, Environment, and Housing. Top teams will have an opportunity to present their work and win prizes at events in downtown San Diego!
read more
FCC Connect2Health L.A.U.N.C.H.

FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force has released the L.A.U.N.C.H. Senior Leadership Think Tank

Design Lab participants: Faculty member Eliah Aronoff-Spencer and Post-Doc Melanie McComsey

The Federal Communications Commission's Connect2Health Task Force and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health convened a groundbreaking meeting at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, with senior thought leaders from both the public and private sectors and across the country. The broad expertise included representatives from government, academia, industry, healthcare systems, public health, biotechnology, design and innovation, and telecommunications. The day-long meeting was designed to usher in the next phase of the L.A.U.N.C.H. initiative by gathering information and individual expert input related to the initiative's efforts to date.
read more
Healthcare Biases

Researchers Receive $2.8 Million Grant to Study Hidden Biases in Healthcare

“The project seeks to use social signal processing (SSP), a computational approach that detects subtle cues in behavior that are typically invisible. For example, talk time, interruptions and body movements from health care providers might differ based on a patient’s race, gender or socioeconomic status.” - Nadir Weibel, Design Lab Faculty

Individuals have their own inherent biases. Most are harmless – preferred foods, favorite cars, go-to streaming services. However, biases tied to race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status have serious consequences.

This is particularly true in medicine. Unintentional, hidden, biases may perpetuate healthcare disparities. While providers are not acting out of malice, these attitudes could have significant impacts on patient care.
read more
Grand Entrance Design And Innovation Building

UC San Diego breaks ground on first piece of its historic ‘grand entrance’ project

"Design should attack critical societal problems, such as disease, homelessness, a lack of food and access to education,” Innovation involves finding ways to implement change, to get things done." - Don Norman, Design Lab Director

UC San Diego on Thursday broke ground on the $67 million Design and Innovation Building, the first piece of the “grand entrance,” a sweeping project that’s meant to provide a clear, dynamic doorway for the county’s largest university.

The 74,000-square-foot building will provide everything from classrooms to studios to makers space for the school’s small but fast-growing design and innovation programs.
read more
Smart Streetlights Data San Diego

San Diegans Shouldn’t Be Lab Rats for Innovation

Voice of San Diego Editorial by Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

In 2016, San Diego installed thousands of General Electric cameras, microphones and telecommunication devices on streetlights around the city. The City Council approved the project with little investigation, looking no further than the city’s casting of the project as environmental “sensors” and “nodes” that would analyze traffic and the atmosphere.

The city finally held town halls this year to explain the program to communities, but by then it was too late. Once installed, technologies of this type will outrun the uses for which they are designed and publicly justified. Over and over, researchers like myself have seen data creep — like mission creep — take hold as companies try to add value to data and monetize them.
read more
Smart Streetlights

Community members call for end to ‘Smart Streetlights’ in San Diego

KUSI NEWS Interviews Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

More than a dozen community groups are calling on the City of San Diego to turn off thousands of cameras positioned on streetlights around San Diego.

The “Smart Streetlights” were approved by the San Diego City Council in December 2016, and there are currently 4,700 installed according to the city’s website.

The cameras collect real-time data including video and audio, which the city says helps save money and increase public safety. However, activists called the technology a major privacy and civil rights concern.

City officials have said that these streetlights are not being used for spying.
read more
Ucsd Designathon

Designathon Ideas Imagine New Trolley Stop as a Vibrant Destination

Autonomous scooters, interactive art, food shuttles, and cable cars are just a few of the creative ideas that emerged from a two-day public designathon event that will join the efforts to transform UC San Diego from a closed campus primarily designed for work and school to destination, inviting people to come, stay and explore what the  campus has to offer. “Anybody who comes to San Diego should have this campus as a destination in addition to Balboa Park or the Gaslamp district,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla in a San Diego Union Tribune article.
read more
CHI 2019 Conference In Glasgow, Scotland

Design Lab Weaves the Threads of CHI 2019

From May 4-9, 2019, the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems took place in Glasgow, Scotland. Called “CHI” for short, this annual and prominent event brings together thousands of the world’s leading researchers, designers, and scientists in human-computer interaction. 

Design Lab members walked away with a number of awards for their research. Post-doctoral Fellow Sarah Fox won a Best Paper Award for “Managerial Visions: Stories of upgrading and maintaining the public restroom with IoT”.
read more
Don Norman Interview Design Usability

“I Think We Have to Start Over”: Usability Guru Don Norman on the Next Internet

"I think we have to start over. And we may need very separate networks. The notion that there is one network that is for everything maybe is wrong. We used to have separate networks. They were, in fact, determined by the technology. Hence radio was different than telephones, which was different than television, which was different than printed books. And today we say, “Nah, it’s all information,” and that this isn’t that neat, because on the internet you can do all of that. Well, OK. But the content is really what’s important, not the technology or the way it’s distributed. And I would love to find a different scheme where people are controlling their own data." - Don Norman
read more
Tristian Harris STX Tech Society Interaction

To Really ‘Disrupt,’ Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers

Wired Editorial by Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

THE STEREOTYPE OF the visionary male founder dominates Silicon Valley. The “move fast and break things” culture rewards those who announce promising new directions with confidence, often neglecting existing resources. It’s how the Valley has disrupted business and society for decades.

Earlier this month, Tristan Harris, cofounder of the Center for Humane Technologies, proposed a whole new field of study: "Society & Technology Interaction." The engineers building the technologies we all rely on, he argued, lack social and cultural knowledge. The problem: That well-established field already exists.
read more
Seniors Technology

More Seniors Are Embracing Technology. But Can They Use It? UCSD Researchers Suggest Asking Them.

We’re told older adults are embracing technology more than ever. And there’s no doubt that inventors in the digital space are scrambling to find ways to market their platforms and tools to them. (Think high tech wearables that monitor everything from blood pressure to daily steps taken, screen magnification, talk-to-text and even assistive domotics and home robots.) Still we all know at least one older person who can barely text let alone maneuver mobile apps. So while they may be purchasing laptops, smart phones and tablets and all of the possibilities they intend, many older adults say they still don't feel confident about using them.
read more
Anna McCowan Melanie McComsey Ucsd Design Lab

UK Markey Center and UCSD Seek to Improve Cancer Care with LAUNCH

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die of cancer than their counterparts in urban settings, which sets them apart from the many communities nationwide that have experienced a 20 percent decrease in cancer mortality over the past two decades. In Appalachia, the cancer picture is bleaker than in other rural parts of the country. Between 1969 and 2011, cancer incidence declined in every region of the country except rural Appalachia, and mortality rates soared.

This week (Monday, June 17th, 2019) an Innovation Studio workshop was held at the PRTC center announcing a program called LAUNCH.
read more
UCSD Trolley Station

UCSD to create grand entrance to manage crushing growth, and welcome the public

"To see eyes looking at you matters. One pair of those eyes may give you a job offer, or help finance your startup, or help buy your first product off Kickstarter, or convince you what you’re doing isn’t solving real problems." — Scott Klemmer, Design Lab

In one of the biggest physical and social changes in school history, UC San Diego will create its first “front door,” a grand entrance meant to appeal as much to the public as students and ease crowding on a campus where enrollment could hit 40,000 this fall.
Plans are being drafted for a gateway that will blend art, culture, entertainment, dining, education and research — the same mix that helps funnel people from Westwood Village to UCLA.
read more
Don Norman Emphatic Design

Why I Don’t Believe in Empathic Design

Human-centered design pioneer Don Norman, who coined the term ‘user experience,’ explains why he’s not convinced by the current obsession with empathy and what we should do instead.

I approve of the spirit behind the introduction of empathy into design, but I believe the concept is impossible, and even if possible, wrong. The reason we often talk about empathy in design is that we really need to understand the people that we’re working for. The idea is that, essentially, you’re in a person’s head and understand how they feel and what they think.
read more
UCSD Giving Day

Giving Day Begins Now. Support the Design Lab Today

Through the integration of education, research and community development, The Design Lab is committed to advancing the best practices needed to solve the world's complex problems through the lens of human-centered design.  One way we do this is through our thriving Design@Large speaker series.  Via conversations with distinguished academic, industry, and community design leaders, Design@Large showcases the ever-evolving, interdisciplinary nature of design as applied in real world contexts.  Today we are asking for your specific help to continue to build and grow this popular series which is open to all.
read more
UCSD Design Lab Fingerprint Biometrics

How many billions are the last billion’s biometrics worth?

Kidprint is a research project run out of the Center for Health at the University of California at San Diego’s Design Lab, which developed the ION device to provide identification for very young people to enable effective immunization and early childhood health checks. The KidPrint research team has achieved functional true acceptance rate of 99.9 percent enrolling and authenticating children as young as 3 days old with ION, KidPrint project lead Eliah Aronoff-Spencer told Biometric Update in an interview.
read more
Don Norman On User-friendly Design

I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me

The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.

More people than ever are living long, healthy lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years for men and 81.1 for women. More relevant, however, is that as people grow older, their total life expectancy increases. So for those who are now 65, the average life expectancy is 83 for men and over 85 for women. And because I’m 83, I’m expected to live past 90 (but I’m aiming a lot higher than that). And these are averages, which means that perhaps half of us will live even longer.
read more
Overcrowded Verganti Design

Don Norman: Overcrowded, by Roberto Verganti: In favor of criticism

I was just in Germany, in Herzogenaurach to be precise, at Adidas headquarters. (Hardly anyone knows where Herzogenaurach is — it’s a 20 minute taxi from Nuremberg.) I was at a conference organized by my old friend (and co-author) Roberto Verganti, from the business school at Politecnico di Milano. Years ago, he and I had a debate in Milan about the value of Human-Centered Design (HCD) and the way it is normally practiced. To the audience’s great surprise, we both agreed:

1. HCD is a powerful tool for improving existing products. That is, it is a powerful tool for incremental innovation.
2. HCD, by its very nature (hill-climbing plus a kind of design by committee), is a really bad tool for radical innovation.
read more
Trolley Stops Designathon UCSD Design Lab

Designathon Seeks to Reimagine Trolley Stops

On April 6+7, 2019, on UC San Diego campus Warren Mall, over 200+ students, neighbors, designers, technologists, and media-makers will come together for the Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon, an event developing proposals that will support the transformation Pepper Canyon Trolley Station at UCSD campus, currently under construction, into a dynamic, multimodal mobility hub. The event is produced through a partnership between The UC San Diego Design Lab, SANDAG, UC San Diego Campus Planning, the UC San Diego Young Planners’ Society, Sixth College Culture, Art, Technology program, and UC San Diego Urban Planning Program.
read more
Ucsd Design Lab Mikael Walhström

Designer in Residence & Social Psychologist Mikael Wahlström Leads Projects to Explore Autonomous Ships

The Design Lab welcomed Mikael Wahlström as a Designer in Residence this past fall. Wahlström hails from Finland where he…

read more

What is the Future of Design in 50 Seconds?

From & Don Norman: I'm developing a new talk: "21st Century Design: Addressing Major Societal Issues." I discuss how we…

read more
Don Norman Design Fund

Announcing the Norman Design Fund!

UC San Diego Design Lab is excited to announce the Norman Design Fund. The Norman Design Fund provides small, rapid allocations of funds to support student activities in human-centered design (HCD). The goal of the fund is to enhance and encourage human-centered design work by UC San Diego students. Applications are open to ALL students at UC San Diego.
read more
UCSD Ed Ngai Salesforce

Where are they now? Ed Ngai

Ed Ngai ‘17 works to ensure that designers and developers create consistent, beautiful experiences through defining company-wide design guidelines. He…

read more
Don Norman

Design a Better World, with Don Norman

UX Cake kicks the season off with a fascinating conversation about changing the world with design, with Don Norman.

"There are really creative people in all these communities. And there aren’t enough experts to go around anyway. What we want to do is go around the world and find these people and facilitate, help them, empower them, give them expert knowledge and allow them to decide how to apply that to their problems." - Don Norman
read more
Ucsd Design Lab Platforms

How pizza could save the world

On a recent Hawaiian vacation, Don stayed at a truly luxurious resort. It wasn’t his style. He couldn’t help but notice the contrast with the poorer sections of the island where locals lived and tourists rarely ventured. Is this the planet’s future? Two distinct cultures, one of isolated wealth and excess, the other of poverty? When we discussed this question, Don couldn’t help but mention he’d also found amazing pizza on the island.
read more
Ucsd Design Lab Don Norman

Don Norman’s Favorite Book, Famous UC writers on their favorite books

Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Victor Papanek
“The first sentence in this book is ‘There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a very few of them.’ I read this book in the 1980s, and it had a huge impact..."
read more
Design Lab UCSD Maya Azarova

Design Lab Anthropology Graduate Student Wins Prestigious CRES Award

Peering into our culture can reveal new insights about how multidisciplinary teams solve socio-technical problems. Maya Azarova, a PhD candidate…

read more
Uc San Diego Design Lab Viasat

Viasat Invests in UC San Diego’s Design Lab

Viasat gift helps researchers provide guidance to engineering organizations on ways to implement a ‘design thinking’ approach to drive global…

read more
Uc San Diego Design Lab Design At Ucsd

Design at UCSD Students Reflect on Summer Internships

This past summer, several members of the Design at UCSD leadership team landed incredible internships alongside leading innovators in industry. We’d like…

read more
Uc San Diego Design Lab

Design Lab and MIT Media Lab Join Forces to Organize a Design·a·Hack·a·thon

No hackathon would be complete without cardboard prototypes strewn about the room, laptop screens glowing with code, and the edgy excitement of teams working against the clock. Hackathons concentrate the efforts of talented, highly motivated participants eager to develop new technologies. There is, however, often one key element missing from this picture: the people for whom these technologies might serve. This inspired The Design Lab to ask, “How might we make designing for people the central element of a hackathon?” Answer: we needed to make “design” a central component. Designathons and Design Swarms exist, but they didn’t quite fit our need to combine both designing and doing (hacking) in a very short, highly condensed manner. Eventually we ended up with Design·a·Hack·a·thon.
read more
Uc San Diego Design Lab Emilia Pucci

Design Lab’s ‘Designer in Residence’ Merges Theory & Intellectual Practice with Craftsmanship

To be honest I was not very technically savvy in my early days or a really a tech geek. Technology…

read more
Ucsd Design Lab Biometric

Researchers Develop Biometric Tool for Newborn Fingerprinting

Researchers at the University of California San Diego say they have dramatically advanced the science of biometric identification, creating a…

read more
Design Lab Uc San Diego Dexcom Automation

A New Partnership Seeks to Inject User Trust into Diabetes Management Technology

Advances in healthcare technology are revolutionizing the management of diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring systems paired with automated insulin delivery pumps…

read more
Design Lab Ucsd Lara Mangravite

Future of Public Health Research: Joint-Collaboration Event Sparks Agile Healthcare Discussion

This past May, the Design Lab hosted The Future of Public Health Research event in collaboration with the Institute of…

read more
Design Lab Ucsd Design At Business Summit Amsterdam

Exploring Design at Business in Amsterdam

Design Lab Associate Director Michèle Morris, and members Nanna Inie, and Jennifer Taylor recently attended the Design at Business Summit…

read more
Design Lab Uc San Diego Ailie Fraser Tricia Ngoon

CHI 2018 Conference Spotlights Design Lab Work

This year’s ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems — more commonly known as CHI — took place…

read more
Design Lab Self-driving Nissan Toyota Ford Duke Stanford E-hmi

Design Lab Collaborates with Amgen to Explore Adoption of Medical Therapies

The Design Lab has recently embarked on an exciting collaboration with Amgen to explore the mechanisms driving patients to adopt…

read more
Design Lab Remanufacturing Circular Economy Law

Spotlight on Peggy Zwolinski

The Design Lab welcomed Peggy Zwolinski, a visiting scholar from France who is currently working to incorporate design thinking into…

read more
Design Lab Uc San Diego Don Norman Creative Education

“I’m Not Distractible…I’m Curious and Creative.” – Don Norman Interviewed by Triton Magazine

Over 90% of industrial and automobile accidents are blamed on human error, with distraction listed as a major cause. Can…

read more
Design Lab Communitycrit Narges Mahyar Steven Dow

CommunityCrit Gives Community Members a Newfound Voice

Actively engaging the public in urban design planning is essential to both establishing a strong sense of community and nurturing…

read more
Design Lab Interaction Design Scott Klemmer Mobile Web Application

Students Participate in Interaction Design Final Project Showcase

In March, UC San Diego faculty, students, and industry guests gathered to experience the final project presentations of over 200…

read more
Design Lab Eric Hekler Public Health Technology

Eric Hekler Joins Design Lab Team

UC San Diego Design Lab is excited to welcome Eric Hekler, an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and…

read more
Design Lab Designatucsd Adobe Wish Salesforce

Design at UCSD Students Visit Leading Silicon Valley Companies

Design thinking and user-centered design continue to rapidly gain traction across a diversity of fields.  As such, it is extremely…

read more
Design Lab Amy Fox Gordon Research Grant

Design Lab’s Amy Fox Awarded Gordon Research Conference Visionary Grant

Emerging developments in data visualization, the practice of visually communicating data to convey patterns and trends, transcend a variety of…

read more
Design Lab #wearenotwaiting Nightscout Openaps

How DIY Designers are Impacting Healthcare

#WeAreNotWaiting is the social media movement of folks in the diabetes community who have come together to hack their own…

read more
Design Lab Melanie Mccomsey Geriatric Thornton Hospital

Improving Senior Care Through Geriatric Emergency Department Research

Geriatric emergency departments  (GEDs) are specialized facilities designed to cater to the medical needs of the elderly. They are a…

read more
Design Lab Connect2health National Cancer Institute

UC San Diego Design Lab Joins FCC, NCI to Champion Critical Role of Broadband in Rural Cancer Care

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2HFCC) announced last week that the FCC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have…

read more
Design Lab Design@large Wednesday Philip Guo

Design at Large Tackles Human-Centered Computational Tools

WHAT IS DESIGN@LARGE? A new wave of societal challenges, cultural values, and technological advancements is creating exciting opportunities for designers…

read more
Don Norman Zdnet Over Automating Uc San Diego

Software Developers and Designers Risk Over-Automating Enterprises

Don Norman of Cognitive Science and the Design Lab argues for human-technology teamwork among designers in a recent Research-Technology Management article, ZDNet…

read more
Design Lab Self-driving Nissan Toyota Ford Duke Stanford E-hmi

Design Lab Helps Lead Self-Driving Car Workshop with Experts from Nissan & Toyota

Although Silicon Valley and Detroit automakers have been given the thumbs up from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin…

read more
Design Lab Spaces Colleen Emmenegger Jim Hollan Education

Design Lab & UCSD Spaces strive for Educational Equity Through Design

Who better to learn about good design than the people who will most benefit from it? That was the driving…

read more
Design Lab Michele Morris Design Forward Summit Xconomy Uc San Diego

Lab Focused on Human-Centered Design Moves to Put San Diego on Map

For Michèle Morris, the big question hanging over organizers as they laid the groundwork last year for the first Design…

read more
Design Lab Microsoft Adobe Workday Students

Design Lab Students Team with Microsoft, Adobe & Workday for Summer Projects

Steven Rick, Ailie Fraser, and Elmer Barerra are graduate and undergraduate students of the Design Lab. They interned at Microsoft,…

read more
Design Lab Michele Morris Forward

Why Does Design Matter: A Q&A With Design Forward Founder Michèle Morris

Michèle Morris currently serves as the Associate Director of the Design Lab at UC San Diego. She also founded Design Forward. We asked…

read more
Design Lab D4sd Scale Dfa National Science Foundation Urban Mobility Steven Dow

Design Lab Launches City-Wide Civic Design Challenge

Calling all entrepreneurs, designers, engineers and problem solvers! Register for the Kickoff and Information Session on Sept 21 Register for the…

read more
Design Lab Cat Hicks Signalio

Cat Hicks Q&A: A Conversation about Google & her new start-up Signal IO

The Design Lab has long lasting impacts. Catherine Hicks has seen the Design Lab since its inception. After starting out as…

read more
Design Lab Steven Dow Scott Klemmer Student Presentation

Information & Interaction Design: Students Present Ideas to Esteemed Panel

One theme of design classes at UCSD is to learn how to interact with the world, get feedback to shape…

read more
Design Lab Don Norman Healthcare Designforward

San Diego is Getting Serious About Healthcare Design

In June 2017, San Diego hosted two of the largest annual healthcare conventions - the American Diabetes Association and BIO…

read more
Design Lab Ibm

IBM Design Thinking Workshop at The Design Lab

IBM believes in design thinking. And design doing. So much so that throughout the company, teams can leverage IBM Design Thinking for…

read more
Design Lab Michele Morris Greg Horowitt Scale

Smart Cities: Urban Innovation & Design Thinking

UC San Diego Design Lab Associate Director Michèle Morris recently joined venture capitalist, entrepreneur and author Greg Horowitt at a…

read more
Design Lab Neema Mahdavi Natasha Tan Sharon Carmichael Oz Chen Erwin Hines

First-Ever UC San Diego Design Conference sponsored by Design Lab Unites Students with Leading Design and Business Professionals

By Kaila Lee, Design at UCSD In late May, over 150 students and leading industry professionals representing top design-centric companies…

read more
Design Lab Vineet Pandey Gut Instinct Hde

Trust your Gut: Vineet Pandey and Team win First Prize at HDE Conference

How much do we actually know about our gut microbiome? A lot more than we might think, and Gut Instinct…

read more
Design Lab Michael Meyer Navy Thebridge

Design Lab Faculty Reflects on Inspiring the First Design-Thinking Workshop on a Warship

By Michael Meyer A few months ago, Naval Air Force Cmdr. Jeremy Vellon participated in a design-thinking workshop I led with Joshua Welle,…

read more
Design Lab Link2 Enrique Zavala Fiona Chang

San Diego Regional EDC teams up with Design Lab on Link2 Project

Kate Gallagher with the San Diego Economic Development Corporation (EDC) needed a website redesign for their Link2 San Diego program that connects…

read more
Design Lab Chi

Design Lab Students Swarm CHI Conference in Denver

In May, many UC San Diego Design Lab members and students swarmed the largest human-computer interaction conference in the world,…

read more
Design Lab Axure Barbara Bry Victor Nacif Chuck Longanecker John Bandringa Don Norman Dfa

Design Forward Panel Discussion: Focusing on 2017

UC San Diego’s Design Lab recently teamed up with Axure Software Solutions, Inc. to cosponsor a panel discussion on the…

read more
Design Lab John Torous Healthcare App

Studio Session with John Torous – Engagement as #1 Barrier to Health Apps

Design Lab Studio Session: Engagement as #1 Barrier for Health Apps: The Urgent Need for Collaborative Solution John Torous, Harvard…

read more
Design Lab Michael Meyer Ignite Business

Michael Meyer Highlights Design-Driven Innovation in Business

Read the article below Michael Meyer's presentation below or skip ahead to the bottom for audio of the entire presentation. The…

read more
Design Lab Derek Lomas Philip Guo Sigchi

Derek Lomas and Philip Guo Recognized by Premier International HCI Conference

UC San Diego Design Lab members Derek Lomas and Philip Guo were recently recognized by the Special Interest Group on…

read more
Design Lab Helena Mentis Telestration Surgery

Telestration: How Helena Mentis Applies Design Thinking to Surgery

Helena Mentis is the director of the Bodies in Motion Lab at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with research spanning human-computer…

read more
Design Lab Stroke-kinect Nadir Weibel

Team behind Stroke Kinect Receives Funding

As part of the Frontier of Innovation Scholars Program (, the Stroke-Kinect proposal led by Design Lab faculty Nadir Weibel…

read more
Design Lab Sheng-feng Qin

Spotlight on Sheng-feng Qin: His take on Design from China to the UK and US

Sheng-feng Qin is a professor at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in the School of Design in Northeast England.…

read more
Design Lab Sap Matchmaker Cookbook

SAP collaborates with Design Lab students

In December, UC San Diego Design Lab students wrapped up two major projects with SAP, a German multinational software corporation…

read more
Design Lab Don Norman John Maeda Debate

Don Norman debates John Maeda of Automattic, the company behind WordPress

In January, world-renown executive, designer and technologist, John Maeda, and a team of 25 people from Automattic joined Don Norman…

read more
Design Lab Steven Dow Narges Mahyar Designsandiego

Design Lab Heads Downtown to Present New Strategies and Program to Take on Society’s Most Daunting Challenges

Last week, UC San Diego Design Lab Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science Steven Dow and postdoctoral fellow Narges Mahyar spoke…

read more
Design Lab Uc San Diego Dreamcatcher David Kirsch

Autodesk teams up with David Kirsh and the Design Lab on Dreamcatcher, a Next-Generation Design Tool

The Design Lab recently teamed up with Autodesk, a California-based corporation that makes software for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing,…

read more
Design Lab Ailie Fraser Adobe Fellow

Adobe Selects Design Lab Student Ailie Fraser as a 2017 Adobe Fellow

UC San Diego Design Lab PhD Student Ailie Fraser has been selected as a 2017 Adobe Research Fellow.  The fellowship…

read more
Design Lab Steven Dow

Steven Dow And His Team Tackle Innovation In Crowdsourcing

As part of the Design Lab's graduate course work on Crowdsourcing taught by Steven Dow, students explored models —such as paid…

read more
Don Norman Newschoolofarchitectureanddesign

Don Norman speaks on The Future of Design at the New School of Architecture

A crowd gathers as Don Norman prepares to speak on the Future of Design at the New School of Architecture. At…

read more
Design Lab Don Norman Nci Nih

UCSD Design Lab & the National Cancer Institute organize workshop on Human Systems Integration

On October 20 and 21, the Design Lab jointly organized a workshop with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at their…

read more
Design Lab

The UC San Diego Design Lab

This is an exciting time for the field of design. The technologies that the research communities have worked on for…

read more
Design Lab Ben Bergen Ucsd Language Words

The Worst F&#%ing Words Ever

So, what the… heck?  Why study profanity? Language is changing. We’re exposed to a wider and wider swath of language…

read more
Back To Top