So you’re a designer?

When I tell people I’m studying at the Austin Center for Design (AC4D), the first response is usually something like, “I haven’t heard of that school before, but that’s cool.” Followed by, “So is that like fashion design or graphic design?”

Social Entrepreneurship is a bit easier to explain, but the concept of Interaction Design is foreign to many people. But Jon Kolko, the founder and director of AC4D, recently had an article on Huffington Post which describes why I’m studying design:

This triangulation of technological advancement, the “experience economy,” and the offshoring of manufacturing has recast the word “design,” and positioned design as a fundamental discipline for managing the complexity of the future. Simply, designers humanize technology. Designers are trained to embrace chaos and complexity, to hold multiple and often competing ideas in their heads at one time, to be flexible and nimble in the face of changing constraints, and most importantly, to visualize concepts, systems and services that don’t yet exist. Designers tell stories about how the future ought to be.
(read the full article)

Yes, I’m learning my way around sticky notes and sketchbooks and Adobe Photoshop and CSS and Keynote. But it’s in service of developing empathy, collaborating with others, envisioning a better future, telling stories, and working to address “wicked problems” in the world.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the article. Then read Wicked Problems or come to Austin on Saturday, March 9, for a Design for Impact Bootcamp, which runs through the design process in a one-day format that weaves together theory and hands-on practice.

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