skip to Main Content

The UC San Diego Design Lab

The UC San Diego 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 the past 25 years have leapt off the pages of academic journals and into the daily lives of billions. What used to be our imagination is now our reality. These have enabled an extremely wide range of innovation in multiple arenas: healthcare and medicine, business, social interaction, entertainment.

But technology only enables: a practical application requires more than the underlying technology. If we build things for people, then knowledge of both people and technology is required. If we are to make them pleasurable, then the creativity and craft skills of artists and traditionally trained industrial and graphic designers are required. If they are to be understandable, then social scientists are required, including experts in writing and exposition. If they are to thrive in the world of business, then schools of management are required. Design aspires to combine these very different vertical threads of knowledge. Design is an all encompassing field that integrates together business and engineering, the social sciences and the arts.

Our goal is to create an exciting, vibrant design community that pervades the campus, cutting across disciplines, developing cross-campus projects, combining practice with theory, and making UC San Diego a world leader in design theory and integrative programs.

We propose a novel mix of practice and theory, of Thinking, Observing, and MakingTOM. We want to produce major works that advance the state of knowledge and leave a lasting heritage. Let TOM define our approach. Thinking and Making, but always for the benefit of people, hence the importance of Observing. The goal of design is to produce products, services, and systems. It is the science and practice of making.

This is an exciting time for the field of design. The technologies that the research communities have worked on for the past 25 years have leapt off the pages of academic journals and into the daily lives of billions. What used to be our imagination is now our reality. These have enabled an extremely wide range of innovation in multiple arenas: healthcare and medicine, business, social interaction, entertainment.

But technology only enables: a practical application requires more than the underlying technology. If we build things for people, then knowledge of both people and technology is required. If we are to make them pleasurable, then the creativity and craft skills of artists and traditionally trained industrial and graphic designers are required. If they are to be understandable, then social scientists are required, including experts in writing and exposition. If they are to thrive in the world of business, then schools of management are required. Design aspires to combine these very different vertical threads of knowledge. Design is an all encompassing field that integrates together business and engineering, the social sciences and the arts.

Our goal is to create an exciting, vibrant design community that pervades the campus, cutting across disciplines, developing cross-campus projects, combining practice with theory, and making UC San Diego a world leader in design theory and integrative programs.

We propose a novel mix of practice and theory, of Thinking, Observing, and MakingTOM. We want to produce major works that advance the state of knowledge and leave a lasting heritage. Let TOM define our approach. Thinking and Making, but always for the benefit of people, hence the importance of Observing. The goal of design is to produce products, services, and systems. It is the science and practice of making.

This is an exciting time for the field of design. The technologies that the research communities have worked on for the past 25 years have leapt off the pages of academic journals and into the daily lives of billions. What used to be our imagination is now our reality. These have enabled an extremely wide range of innovation in multiple arenas: healthcare and medicine, business, social interaction, entertainment.

But technology only enables: a practical application requires more than the underlying technology. If we build things for people, then knowledge of both people and technology is required. If we are to make them pleasurable, then the creativity and craft skills of artists and traditionally trained industrial and graphic designers are required. If they are to be understandable, then social scientists are required, including experts in writing and exposition. If they are to thrive in the world of business, then schools of management are required. Design aspires to combine these very different vertical threads of knowledge. Design is an all encompassing field that integrates together business and engineering, the social sciences and the arts.

Our goal is to create an exciting, vibrant design community that pervades the campus, cutting across disciplines, developing cross-campus projects, combining practice with theory, and making UC San Diego a world leader in design theory and integrative programs.

We propose a novel mix of practice and theory, of Thinking, Observing, and MakingTOM. We want to produce major works that advance the state of knowledge and leave a lasting heritage. Let TOM define our approach. Thinking and Making, but always for the benefit of people, hence the importance of Observing. The goal of design is to produce products, services, and systems. It is the science and practice of making.

Read Next

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…

San Diego -- Tijuana

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.
Design Lab’s Edward Wang Wins NIH R21 For Work On Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang wins NIH R21 for work on Smartphone-based Alzheimer’s Screening

Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who is a jointly appointed professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering in Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, wins a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 through the National Institute of Aging (NIA) for his work around transforming smartphones into pocket-sized personal health monitors. 

The NIA has selected Design Lab’s Edward Wang, who directs the Digital Health Lab, to receive NIH R21 funding for his work with Co-investigator Eric Granholm, Director of UCSD’s Center for Mental Health Technology (MHTech), to develop a smartphone app that can screen for early signs of cognitive decline indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). An NIH R21, also known as the Exploratory/Development Grant, provides support in the early and conceptual stages of a project’s development. As part of a national push towards combating the debilitating effects of AD, the National Institute of Aging looked towards funding novel ways to screen for AD through the use of digital technologies. 
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…

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…

Keolu Fox: Decoding the past to build a better future

Growing up, National Geographic Explorer Keolu Fox heard the stories of his intrepid ancestors as told by generations before. He comes from a line of voyagers who traversed oceans thousands of years ago aboard canoes fueled only by manpower and wind.

They eventually founded settlements on islands across the Pacific, including in Fox’s native Hawaii, and their characteristics as wayfinders live on not only as part of Indigenous oral history—the traits are inscribed in their DNA.

But modern-day Indigenous genomes tell a more complex story, Fox explains. The earliest settlers’ history is as much about crossing oceanic highways as it is about the troubles of resettlement and colonialism. By decoding these truths, Fox, a geneticist and Indigenous rights activist, is working to ensure Native communities are spearheading the future.
Back To Top