Past editions

IxDA Sydney event

2023

25-26 Feb 2023 | Zürich

The Interaction 23 Design Education Summit was hosted by the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

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Ron Wakkary, Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, and Professor and Chair of Design for More Than Human-Centred Worlds in the Future Everyday Cluster in Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands

Ron Wakkary discusses his recent book, Things We Could Design for More than Human-Centered Worlds (MIT Press 2021). The book offers the idea of designing-with by weaving together posthumanist philosophies with things to critically imagine designing for a world of differentiated humans entangled in an equal fate with all that is not human. The talk will discuss ideas and commitments of designing-with such as the human role of gathering and speaking with humans and nonhumans when designing; the shared agencies of designer and things for what they jointly inscribe into our worlds and leave behind; and the need for collective structures for designing that gather across the politics of humans and nonhumans. The talk will conclude with a discussion of what designing-with “asks” of design educators.

Video

René Spitz, Professor at the Rheinische Fachhochschule (RFH) Cologne, University of Applied Sciences
Member of the Board of the iF Design Foundation

Design education needs to change radically. This is a major outcome of an international research project on the future of design education. What is done at design schools and how it is done is not what is needed. A second outcome: Because reality is changing so dramatically, so dynamic and fast, we have to move fast, too. We have to change design education now. If we want to transform the world we live in into the world we want to live in we need to re-design design education.

Video

Marc Engenhart, Designer & Author of »Design and AI«

The co-creation of human and machine has connected us designers for many decades. We use our software tools and helpful digital work environments every day. But what does it mean when these environments and tools fundamentally change to become machine intelligent? What does it mean when we start to create design products that use intelligent systems to analyse their environment, and from that fundamentally change the interaction with humans as users? What fundamental problems in design need to be discussed?

Video

Rahel Flechtner, Guest Professor Creative AI at University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd

Aeneas Stankowski, Guest Professor Creative AI at University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd, Researcher at German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence

AI leaves few design (sub)disciplines untouched. It consists of dissimilar and complex technologies. This challenges the role of technology education within the design curriculum. For designers working and designing with AI it is difficult to discern what is or will become technically feasible. This can lead to unintentionally speculative design proposals or the usage of ai as a wild card. Furthermore, we ask if it is sufficient to use ai as a means to an end and how it could be possible to help designers shaping where the development of the technology is heading. At the new AI+D Lab of the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, we research possible pathways and strategies to integrate AI into design education. The AI+D Lab is part of KiteGG, a research consortium consisting of 5 design schools with the same goal. In this talk, we will share and discuss our approaches, experiences, and thoughts on the topic of AI in design education.

Video

Sammy Schuckert, Senior UX Design Lead at IBM, Data and AI Design

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a mystery and a wonder. It has the potential to help us solve humanity's most difficult problems. AI is also vastly misunderstood by most people. For some, AI is a magical black box with the intelligence of a PhD. It knows all about everything, you just bring your problems and, voilà, your problems are solved. For others, fears of AI uprisings, loss of human control and Terminator-like scenarios cloud their capability to understand the present utility of cognitive computing.

When looking for ways to apply this cutting-edge, revolutionary technology, which can understand, reason, learn, and interact on its own, it's crucial that designers understand AI's capabilities and implications to a certain extent. This requires designers to understand data sources, understand what it means to do machine learning, and learn how to put those things together and deliver it in a way where the only interface may be just a smart speaker.

The good news is, besides all that change, the fundamentals of design haven't changed (yet). The core behavior of understanding what a user’s problem is and then solving for it, hasn't changed. The requirement for collaborating with large diverse teams, hasn't changed. The need for awareness of the potential negative impact of any design on people, societies, or the environment, hasn't changed.

It's the curiosity for this uprising new technology and the focus on these fundamentals, which will be key for the designers of the relationship age – where we will be asked to design new human-machine relationships.

Video

Stefan Wölwer, Professor for Interaction Design in Digital Environments

Interdisciplinary collaboration and research doesn't mean passing the baton from one team to the next and leaving design as an afterthought. Instead, design and design research methods should be fully integrated from the start. By combining methods, new interdisciplinary methodologies can be developed.

Interaction design, which uses a systematic approach to design the parameters that frame the interactions between people, space and objects, plays an important role in bridging different research disciplines. In his presentation, Stefan Wölwer invites the audience to discuss prototypical research projects and results.

Video

Massimo Botta, Head of Master of Arts in Interaction Design SUPSI

Interaction design operates in a wide spectrum of fields - social, economic, political, technological, etc. - and the design practice is carried out by cross-disciplinary teams to operate in such fields.

Starting from these assumptions, the Master of Arts in Interaction Design SUPSI has always been open to multidisciplinary students. This working condition - training students with different backgrounds and levels of expertise - stresses some issues concerning a fundamental aspect of design education: the transition from a discipline to a science. The talk discusses some general questions of design education in this transition.

Video

Andreas Muxel, Professor Physical Human-Machine Interfaces

We have always been developing tools as an extension of the self to become "more efficient" and "better". But with the rise of autonomous and robotic systems, technology is also perceived as something "other" and as a proactive counterpart. Instead of controlling we start to “co-operate” with technology. In our coexistence, we ascribe almost human qualities, emotions and liveliness to our technical counterpart, but the rational machine is something else. But how might these things be designed if they evolve from passive tools to proactive and even social things? How can we shape their "thingness" beyond naïve human imitation to overcome an anthropomorphic design approach? Using examples from design education and research, the talk will focus on embodied interaction with robotic things in-between the physical and the non-physical, the rational and the irrational.

Video

Alexia Mathieu, Course leader MA Media Design HEAD – Genève

This talk will present how the topic of machine learning for artists and designers has been taught in the MA Media Design program at HEAD – Genève in the past years. We will explore the methodologies used in workshops to teach this subject, their limitations as well as the results. As a conclusion, we will offer new possibilities and future subjects that can be explored around IA and ML tools in the context of the arts and design school.

Video

Annika Frye, Designer and design researcher

The HYBRIDLAB is a platform for digital collaboration. We are using current applications of the so-called ‚Metaverse‘ such as the games engine Unreal and 3D-scanning techniques to create a hybrid real-time design platform that will let others participate in our project. We are a mixed team of designers and researchers with interdisciplinary backgrounds (Industrial Design, Architecture, Games Design, Economics) from Kiel, Eindhoven, Warsaw, and Rotterdam. In a series of remote and hybrid workshops that take place in an immersive digital shared environment, we will establish a novel model of collaboration. The talk will present the structure and the methodology of the project.

Creative Europe funded Project together with: Prof. Dr. Sandra Schramke, Muthesius Academy of Arts and Design Kiel, UAU Project Warsaw, The New Raw Rotterdam and Remco van der Zouw, Design Academy Eindhoven.

Video

Alain Bellet, Associate Professor, Media & Interaction Design Program, ECAL

No other object of the last decades has changed our habits as much as the smartphone. The conversation around this total object has shifted from an early enthusiasm for endless possibilities to one of dependency, demanding monitoring of screen-time, and even digital detox. A corpus of projects around this device has been developed at ECAL by students, researchers and teachers. An interesting journey that took the form of an exhibition “Fantastic Smartphones”, initially presented during the Milan Design Week in 2021 and which has been traveling since. A way to open a platform for discussion and reflection around this topic, for the interaction designer community but also for society in general. Questioning our way of designing as well as our way of teaching.

Video

Eileen Mandir, Research Professor for Systemic Design at the Faculty of Design, Munich University of Applied Sciences
Benedikt Groß, Program Director, MA Strategic Design and AI+D Group at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

»Futuring defines a collective and individual disposition, a mission and the organizing of principles of practices. At its most obvious, it means giving the self a future. In this respect good design is futuring.«

As the complexity of our world is becoming more and more obvious, the demand for tools to think about, better understand and imagine preferable futures is growing. This opens up a new field of action for designers: Design Futuring. But how can we teach this in a methodical and robust creative process?

The intersection of Design and Futuring is an emerging field for designers. In this new role designers have to enable stakeholders from all areas of society to imagine and negotiate different (desirable) futures using the tools of design. By designing future scenarios that are tangible, experiential and imaginable in order to motivate decision makers from business, politics and society to take action.

Eileen and Benedikt authored the book »Zukünfte gestalten« (published Oct 2022, ISBN 9783874399586, translation to English upcoming) to offer designers an entry door into this new realm of design.

In a structured creative process, various thinking tools enable an analytical and systematic examination of many different future scenarios. Different creativity methods expand the imagination for »better« future scenarios that portray everyday life of ordinary people.

Because there is no seemingly inevitable future.

Video

Andres Wanner, Head of Bachelor Digital Ideation, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU / LUASA)

Explore tools and strategies to foster a culture of collaboration and communication across disciplines. Building on our recent study on team-projects with designers and developers, we will  present a work-in-progress toolbox for onboarding and moderating interdisciplinary teams in your classroom. We will provide an overview over the methods developed in the study and invite participants to experiment with some of them in the workshop. These methods are designed to nurture the potential of diverse teams, foster mutual understanding, and highlight the strengths of individual contributions. Open to educators, team-leaders and students. Attendees are welcome to bring a current team member along to reflect on their own collaboration.

Serena Cangiano, Head of Digital fabrication Laboratory, Senior Researcher at Design Institute at SUPSI

Alice Mela, Design director at TODO

One of the biggest challenges for interaction designers today is to craft user experiences that leverage the power of intelligent agents as well as support people in their daily environments through different interaction modalities. Multimodal interfaces, in fact, can help shape a more free and natural communication between people and intelligent systems in experiences that connect digital information and physical devices.

With a focus on the domain of conversational agents and voice user interfaces, the workshop will guide the participants in three different hands-on sessions to reflect and explore the following challenges:

  • How to design around other senses and redefine interactive modalities beyond sight
  • How to move from the design of interactive behaviours to the digital agent personality design
  • How to tackle complex subjects in the design of new skills for digital assistants such as the relation with our bodies or taboo

The workshop disseminates the methodologies tested within the MA program in Interaction Design at SUPSI during the course Multimodal Experience Design.

Bamna Dadshzadeh, Designer & Researcher

This workshop is an invitation to a culinary setting where collaboration is the key to unfold the full potential of this multisensory experience. Participants face challenges and limitations which they can overcome by engaging and interacting with each other through communication, play, and creative problem-solving and are introduced to relationship-centric design approaches.

Between body-storming, self-reflection, discussions, and theoretical input, the workshop provides the framework and the tools to rethink vulnerability, dependency, trust, and responsibility.

Participants identify ingredients for fruitful collaboration and leave the workshop not only with food for thought, but also with a recipe for collaboration which can be adjusted according to their needs in future collaborative challenges.

Note: All served ingredients will be vegetarian or vegan. If there are any concerns related to dietary restrictions or accessibility, feel free to contact the workshop provider via bamna.dadashzadeh@zhdk.ch

Extending Sensibilities. On the Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes

Roman Kirschner, Lecturer in Interaction Design at Zurich University of the Arts

In this presentation, I will talk about new conditions of human and non-human sensibility as they arise within immersive media environments. In particular, I will demonstrate how architectural design that utilizes airflow, light intensity, and oxygen saturation to impact how we feel and act in environments, provide an intimate experience of metabolic processes as they happen inside and outside our bodies. Through explicating processes that usually happen outside our conscious awareness, I argue that a metabolic aesthetics enables us to become more sensitive to how we experience, instead of focusing on just what we feel. I propose further that a sensitivity to bio-chemical processes at the root of our meaningful experiences enables new ways to address the ecological crisis we are facing today.

Extending Sensibilities. On the Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes

Desiree Foerster, Assistant Professor for Digital Media and Culture Studies at the Utrecht University

In this presentation, I will talk about new conditions of human and non-human sensibility as they arise within immersive media environments. In particular, I will demonstrate how architectural design that utilizes airflow, light intensity, and oxygen saturation to impact how we feel and act in environments, provide an intimate experience of metabolic processes as they happen inside and outside our bodies. Through explicating processes that usually happen outside our conscious awareness, I argue that a metabolic aesthetics enables us to become more sensitive to how we experience, instead of focusing on just what we feel. I propose further that a sensitivity to bio-chemical processes at the root of our meaningful experiences enables new ways to address the ecological crisis we are facing today.

Toward Metabolic Creative Practices

Jamie Allen, Senior Researcher / Critical Media Lab Basel / IXDM HGK FHNW

Toward Metabolic Creative Practices presents a set of conceptual and practice approaches and interest for the intersection of logistical, elemental and thermal media approaches. These look like material, cultural ceremonies of thriving and surviving, and enact technological rituals of trust, response-ability and ecological relation. What constellations of techno-science can we devise, together, that might heal the rifts wrought by infrastructural modernism, exploitation and messianism? Critical scholarship and studies of infrastructure, institutions and media, as well as participatory media and artistic work, circulates toward, amongst other approaches, a ‘culinary cosmopolitics' that relates energy, metabolism, logistics, food and sustenance, migration, labour and community.


Drift towards a Sea Change

Anthea Oestreicher, Interdisciplinary designer, academic employee at BioDesignLab, HfG Karlsruhe and at Design & Future Making, HS Pforzheim

The ocean is a sensorium and a place for sensing practices in the making. In its metabolic cycles and dynamics it records and inscribes the transformations of the planetary.The relationship between humans, the oceans and the species in this fragile, complex multispecies environment is mostly mediated and indirect. Establishing a sensitive relationship to the microscopic beings means in this sense becoming attuned to their rhythms and to experience the spaces in between computed models and scientific datasets.

In this space the groups of phytoplankton and their life cycles are taken into account. As abundant keystone species they are vital part of the intricately balanced marine and atmospheric systems. How can we form new correspondences with these beings, how we can sense and make sensible the multiple transformations they are exposed to? What possibilities to think and act otherwise offers this unknown terrain?

What should be the role of design and designers in tackling complex issues and in contributing to a shift in thinking patterns?

Video

Democracy Fiction: Speculation as a Political Tool

Ramona Sprenger, Interaction designer and partner at the think & do tank Dezentrum

Speculation enables us to think collectively about futures. In view of the challenges of our time, we urgently need narratives that enable us to act. Narratives that break out of prognosticism and thus allow for ambivalences. How do we create inclusive futures that we can orient ourselves by and that make us capable of action? And how do we create an accessible discourse about such futures?

For the publicly funded Foundation for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS, Dezentrum has developed three scenarios of a digital democracy in the year 2050. The result consisted of three speculative objects: a mind-expanding pill, a coin-tossing machine and a shrink-wrapped mushroom risotto. The aim was to make immaterial discourse and different futures tangible in order to create a concrete basis for discussion on issues surrounding social and political coexistence.

In this short talk, I reflect on the participatory and transdisciplinary development of the short stories and artefacts, as well as the public presentation and reception afterwards.

SPACE AS INTERFACE

Rosario Hurtado, Co-director at the MA Space and Communication HEAD – Genève and co-founder of the experimental practice El Ultimo Grito

We consider design as a narrative connection between two points in space and time. Space is the medium where meanings collide, space is our interface for the experience of reality and its communication. Physical Editing describes a methodology focused on the exploration of these observations and encourages the generation of “physical creative geographies” as intersecting constructs of objects, media, film, objects, performances, etc. as dialogues or narratives propositions. Physical Editing deals with “the reality” required in the construction of fiction as a metaphor for the construction of reality.

Designing for debate

Max Mollon, Ph.D., Co-founder of the Laboratory of ecological deviations, Lecturer (Sciences Po, Paris)

What if speculative design was a tool capable of supporting democracy, when it stages futures, whose desirability is then open to debate? In this respect, speculative design often follows an aesthetic canon that leads to failure (i.e. artefacts aimed at provocation; shown via exhibitions or mass media). But other strategies need to be developed: 1) using the artefact as a tool for (non-sterile) mutual contestation, 2) beyond the artefact, considering the “public” as a user in its own right, 3) and therefore working on the design of a communication situation where to meet these publics, potentially concerned by the targeted controversy. Such approaches can be brought together in the field of design for debate, they give the designer a role of “diplomat” and are now taught in management schools (at Sciences Po, Paris) and used to accelerate the ecological transition.

Video

2022

5 Mar 2022 | online from Zürich
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Karmen Franinovic, Professor of Interaction Design , ZHdK

The context and scope of interaction design is expanding through more-than-human perspectives. Through a discussion of educational activities and student projects over the past 20 years at Interaction Design at Zurich University of the Arts, this keynote lecture traces the shift from user-centred design to people-centred and, finally to planet- and life-centred design.

Moderated by Serena Cangiano, Head of Digital Fabrication Lab, SUPSI

PANELISTS:

  • Simone Muscolino, Director of Art Foundation, VCU
  • Jae Yeop Kim, Director of Intelligent Interaction Design Lab, Hongik University
  • Anastasia Pistofidou, Co-Founder Fabricademy and Fabtextiles

Presented by xLab,  Levi Hammett & Hind Al Saad, with Mohammed Al Sueleiman & Fatima Abbas

Design your own grid-based letters to write a word or message using p5js (javascript), then see it displayed in real time on the physical segmented display. All participants will have the chance to stream their work to the physical installation and will receive a video of their creation after the workshop. No prior experience with coding or design is required for this workshop.

Presented by IxDA and CUMULUS

CUMULUS and IxDA have launched a series of Practitioners, Researchers and Educators (P-R-E-) Days to encourage focused conversations on identifying critical elements that further capacity building for designers, at different stages of their careers, from studies to professional practice to lifelong learning. These meetings take the form of working groups in partnership with institutions, academia, corporations, and policymakers, who are willing to push the global PRE agenda.

In resonance with the conference theme: Today, as we look beyond the immediate perils of the pandemic, there is space for new conversations: we must redesign systems and structures based on the new essentials; Education provides essentials. Let's talk.

Presented by Maria Luce Lupetti
Digital products come with the promise of efficiency and liberation from the tedious aspects of daily life. But what are the costs of such gains?
From online grocery shopping apps to surveillance cameras, digitalization makes us unconsciously trade values like privacy, fairness, and sustainability, for the sake of time-saving, comfort, and status. But what if products could become embodiments of such value trade-offs? How could we use the design language to nudge the user to engage in a conscious negotiation of values? In this workshop, we will look at and redesign existing digital products to enable discussion on the underlying value trade-offs these embody.

2021

5 Mar 2022 | online from Zürich

For the first time in its history, IxDA’s Interaction Design Education Summit happened online. It was co-organized by UQAM.

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Kris De Decker, creator, and author of Low Tech Magazine

Low-tech Magazine questions the belief in technological progress, and highlights the potential of past knowledge and technologies for designing a sustainable society. Because a web redesign was long overdue — and because we try to practice what we preach — we decided to build a low-tech website that meets our needs and abides by our principles.

This session focused on “remote”. We mapped and scoped 2021 questions for educating new cohorts. 2020 pushed us into revisiting a number of education and work assumptions. We used lightning interventions to trigger conversations and move into an interactive mode to explore questions with “design in perilous times” as the guiding approach for:

How does it impact shaping syllabi?

How can practitioners’ input help in reshaping curricula?

This conversation was a continuation of the Lyon-Paris-Bogota P-R-E journey.

Jerome Axle Brown, Salesforce

Regitze Marianne Hess, DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia

Anubha Kakroo, Anant National University School of Design

This session focused on “diversity” in education and practice and how this impacts society’s future.

How has lack of access to design education by underrepresented populations limited the way the world is designed?

Why is diversifying design education so important to the future of society?

How are the faces of design reflected in the way the world is designed?

How might we identify and break down the barriers to design education?

These conversations engaged and helped inform the work of the Diversify by Design (DxD) coalition.

Andréa Pellegrino, Impact Collaborative

Laila Waggoner, Impact Collaborative

Jacinda Walker, designExplorr

A museum is a site for enjoyment, social interaction and a unique type of learning. This defines and structures the educational experiences we can design for them. Free Choice Learning means that visitors are free to explore and they choose the subjects that interest them; the length of time they want to spend on a topic; and how deeply they engage with the material. Through interactive exhibits museums support this kind of learning. However, in the age of constant internet connection it is no easy task to capture and hold a visitor’s attention. Further, the information streaming in can be full of misconceptions or misinformation. In this workshop we will share the processes and design thinking used to create engaging and meaningful interactions that are entertaining, accessible and educational.

Erika Kiessner, Head of Interactive Design, GSM Project

Simon Séguin, Interactive Designer, GSM Project, Interaction Design Instructor at UQAM School of design

This workshop explored how acting techniques can be used as design methods in interaction design education. We saw how they can be useful to reveal, to experience, and to explore some users' key facets that are difficult to grasp otherwise (e.g. mood, feeling, predispositions, attitudes).

To design quality digital products, designers need to understand the user and their experiences on a deep level. To do so, several design user research methods focus mainly on an intellectual approach to gain insight through quantitative research and analysis. While useful, this approach often undervalues the role of embodiment and intuition in the process of understanding the user. In response to this, a more embodied approach to user research has emerged. Methods such as roleplaying and bodystorming are increasingly used to gain new kinds of insight during the design process. But, in our teaching practice, we have observed that designers usually quickly encounter limits with these methods.

Thus, this workshop offered the opportunity to explore how acting techniques can be useful in interaction design user research. To this end, participants learned psychophysical exercises that strengthen the relationship between the mind (cognition) and the body (physicality). We also examined how engaging the body helps designers gain intuitive insights about a user that they may be harder to get from a more intellectual approach. First, as interaction design instructors, we discussed our own in-class experiences and then put these techniques into practice through a series of hands-on exercises. Finally, we reflected on the usefulness of this approach when doing (remote) user research and its potential contributions to interaction design in these perilous times.

Leigh Rivenbark, Assistant Professor at MacEwan University, Theatre Arts

Jacynthe Roberge, Assistant Professor of Interaction Design, Laval University School of Design

Isabelle Sperano, Assistant Professor of Interaction Design, MacEwan University

Niel Caja Rubio, Assistant Professor of Design, Laval University School of Design

Alice Jarry, PhD, Concordia University

Stephane Vial, PhD, UQAM

Elisa Giaccardi, PhD, Delft University of Technology, Umeå Institute of Design

Franziska Beeler, Learning Designer, Digital Product Manager & Innovation Facilitator

2020

3-4 February 2020 | Milan

The 2020 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by the Domus Academy

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Derrick de Kerckhove, Guest Professor, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Research Director, Media Duemila - Osservatorio TuttiMedia

Originally a concept devised by engineers to duplicate virtually their costly engines, turbines and such - and thus much improve monitoring, maintenance, and repairs - the Digital Twin is finally making it to its real destiny, the human. Simply think of Alexa or Cortana on steroids. What’s on the horizon is a duplicate (or more) of each one of us containing our lifelong health, information, emotions and contacts, along with access to top of the line (big) Data Analytics to come up with the best answer to every question asked or merely thought by its physical counterpart. To say nothing of the artistic and design opportunities, the educator’s challenge will be to help students to connect with their own data and learn to shape their twin before we let some corporation do it for them.

Tamar Yehezkel

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This research focused on informal knowledge sharing between future technology, management and design experts. Learning what is needed to stay relevant and lead in a rapidly changing world.

In the knowledge economy, the organizational knowledge base is built on individuals constituting an important part of the organization’s advantage driving it to thrive in a volatile and competitive market. Success lies in the organization’s ability to use information in solving complex problems and innovation. For people operating in multidisciplinary innovative teams, there is a need to constantly adapt, thus, Life-Long Learning programs are a necessity.

Findings from this research in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, illustrate that informal peer learning is the ‘magic’ enabling flow of new ideas and drive personal innovation, required for entering new fields of knowledge.

I’ll share key insights regarding two motivations of experts; Life-Long Learning to stay up to date with the ‘broad’ information, alongside skills practice through problem-solving tasks. There is a clear need for experienced professionals and experts during the experimentation, innovative process to continuously reach relevant content, through other people, effortlessly and anytime.

Rachel Switzky & Michelle Kwasny

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Building on the learnings from their careers at global design and innovation company IDEO, Rachel Switzky and Michelle Kwasny both left their respective innovation consulting careers last year to take positions at large, Midwestern Tier 1 Research universities.

During this presentation, they will share their experiences of experimentation from within higher education, applying a human-centered design approach to create a new type of university: one where student input is paramount and faculty and staff are inspired by opportunities rather than restrained by challenges.

Key questions we will discuss:

• How might we ensure our student voices cut through challenging bureaucracies in complex university systems?

• How might we cultivate learning environments that foster collaboration and put the student at the center of the academic mission?

• How might we create spaces and places for the magic of cross-pollinating ideas while also building on the research depth and expertise inside a large public university?

Pradyumna Surampudi & Pranali Raval

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During a student council meeting, issues regarding student experiences were raised. This led to a proposal to form a student group to bring a fresh perspective and design better solutions. Consisting of Interaction, Service and Visual Brand Designers, the design collective represented the Experience cluster of Domus Academy. Thus, X lab was born. It was a place for innovation, discussions and multiple cultures and design ideologies coming together. It led to several discussions about cookies and pizza choices.

We met after hours, even during grueling course schedules and internships, to brainstorm and innovate solutions to problems. Through an iterative design thinking approach, we identified problem areas through surveys, interviews and personal experiences. Given the various backgrounds as designers, we were able to propose solutions from the perspectives of various stakeholders.

We found that improving the university app was the essential first step in improving the experience for the student, as well as the staff and faculty. We had the support of our program leader, and a professional designer, who also happened to be a passionate alumni of the university. This was really helpful throughout the process of mapping user-flows, creating wire-frames and translating them into clear visuals and prototypes.

We continued to collaborate, discuss and improve the design with prototypes and get feedback from users, even while most of us graduated, interned and moved to different cities. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the project and the group, we were able to learn new skills, tools and gain more perspective on the project at hand, as well as our own field of expertise.

We looked back at the experience to understand the things we did right, and what could have been better in our process. We realized the scope of the collective could be more than just improving student experiences. Moving forward, the design collective can work with designers of various other disciplines to innovate better user experiences and expand their skill sets. We wish to share the journey of how we were formed, what we designed, what we learnt from it, and how we improved upon the process to move the design collective forward with the next iteration.

Cassini Nazir

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Higher education has come to increasingly rely on part-time faculty to fulfill the curricular demands of teaching. Part-time faculty, however, rarely participate in the challenges of curriculum development, management, and assessment. This presentation proposes a framework for design educators—both tenure-track faculty and design practitioners at all levels of academia—to plan, develop, and evaluate courses based upon service design tools and methods.

Michelle Kwasny & Nicholas Hillman

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Universities are responsible for preparing the next generation of thinkers and practitioners, yet have generally remained far removed from the practical work itself. Students with their sights on the working world recognize the need for real-world work experience during their college years, yet few universities offer the opportunity to meaningfully practice what is learned in a holistic, applied way.

Yet meanwhile, university administrators and staff grapple with running the “business” of the university, and would greatly benefit from the time, talents, and expertise of the students and faculty on campus. In this talk, we will examine one such educational innovation, the Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Housed within the Office of Student Financial Aid, SSTAR is a sandbox of data—data that students can use to not simply learn statistics but practice statistical techniques, data management and data visualization with real and consequential outcomes. In its first year in operation, the lab has simplified the notoriously complex and burdensome financial aid process through Bucky’s Tuition Promise, a program that guarantees free tuition and fees for recent Wisconsin high school graduates below median family income.

Presented in tandem, the SSTAR Lab Director and Associate Professor in the School of Education, Dr. Nicholas Hillman, will introduce the SSTAR Lab and its context, and Michelle Kwasny, Design Researcher and Strategist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor’s Office will use it as inspiration for turning the lens of innovation on higher education itself and dreaming up the next generation of applied laboratories in the field of user experience and innovation.

Danilo Gallo

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The gap between design research and practice is a topic that has been at the center of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community discussions for years. While industry-academy collaborations have been successful in creating spaces for joint activities, such as short-term design-workshops and corporate grants, these initiatives do not seem to have a widespread impact on the transfer of knowledge between both communities at a more granular level.

As UX designers who shifted from practice to the research domain, we found ourselves at the center of this gap. This change meant adapting to new objectives, methods, communities, and information sources. It was surprising to discover this new world after having studied and practiced design for over 10 years. Through these years, we have been in contact with designers from various countries, different backgrounds and types of organizations, but we never came across the work of a large community of design researchers exploring highly relevant topics for our activity.

There are several barriers that prevent design practitioners from making an effective use of this information, ranging from difficulties accessing the resources to the writing style of academic publications. Researchers are working to improve these aspects and some of the most important institutions in the HCI field are taking actions in the same direction. While further work and a joint effort from both communities is needed to close this gap, we believe that design education can play a role in start bringing them closer. During this talk, we will introduce the topic, analyze the current situation and existing initiatives focusing on addressing the issue. We will look at our personal experience shifting from practice to research, and describe the initial steps that we believe design educators could take to help designers leverage the information produced by researchers and bring the two areas closer.

Ashley Pigford

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To teach physical computing is to teach technology for the real world, or as Dan O’ Sullivan and Tom Igoe (2004) describe it, “a conversation between the physical world and the virtual world of the computer” (p. xix). As this conversation, or interaction, between digital systems and the physical experience, becomes increasingly implicit in our everyday lives, interaction designers need skills in, and an understanding of, physical computing as an expansion of their creative practices in the design of engaging, multi-sensory, digitally-mediated experiences.

This is a presentation of a course curriculum I have developed over the last ten years at the University of Delaware that takes students from an introduction to electronics to the design and fabrication of interactive experiences. Over the course of one semester, the curriculum transitions from technical skills to creative applications of technology; students are shown how to make electro-mechanical things and then challenged to develop prototypes for specific users and contexts, following a design process. Interaction and industrial design concepts like feedback, affordance, mapping and consistency are woven into assignments that cover aesthetic, interventionist, gamification and theatrical approaches to interaction design.

This presentation includes a wide variety of student projects as demonstrations of learning objectives and is applicable to educators who wish to include physical computing in their existing courses and/or those who are seeking ideas and assignments for new undergraduate or graduate courses or degree program curricula. The new dawn of interaction design relies on treating technology as an integral component in the design of human experiences and a tool for ontological experimentation.

Mya Osaki

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Social design is the design of relationships, between humans and technology, with the earth, and with each other. Design sparks opportunities for social innovation, creating new models, ideas, and interventions that address the big problems faced by businesses, governments, organizations, and communities. At the Design for Social Innovation (DSI) graduate MFA program, mastering the design process is just the beginning. We think through making and understand the craft, yet creative leaders identify and scope challenges, research and develop insights, understand systems and how to work with them, lead the generation of new ideas and facilitate change. It requires getting out of the classroom and working with the communities and stakeholders involved - to truly meet the needs of those impacted. Educating future creative leaders on how to design with communities to support and sustain interactions for social impact is essential.

This talk presents some of today’s considerations shaping design in social innovation as well as examples from recent graduates of the Design for Social Innovation (DSI) MFA program at the School of Visual Arts.

These creative leaders are designing with (not just for) communities and making bold moves towards equitable, inclusive, and creative approaches to design the future.

Aaron Ganci

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Letter grades have long been a problem in design education. Design activity often does not fit neatly into the traditional A–F grading scale, where there are distinctly right and wrong answers. Victor Papenak told us this almost 40 years ago in “Design for the Real World;” he said: “Design, as a problem-solving activity can never, by definition, yield one right answer: it will always produce an infinite number of answers, some ‘righter’ and some ‘wronger.’” With this in mind, design educators need to reconsider what role grading or, more broadly, assessment, has in contemporary education. If there are no right or wrong answers, how can we assign a grade to a student’s work? Of course, there are some basics for which we can easily assign quality. For example, the traditional elements of visual design (hierarchy, balance, color contrast) and implementation of platform or OS standards. However, there are many other factors at play that dictate the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of a solution. These are things that often get overlooked when considering a “final” solution and include. For example, a student’s incoming baseline ability, the complexity of design constraints, the fuzziness of problem contexts, multidisciplinary and collaborative group dynamics, instructor learning objectives for the activity, and, I would argue, the unique factors of a student’s life outside school. These factors all contribute to a student’s performance and, perhaps more importantly, their learning outcomes in a project. In this presentation, I will outline a new assessment methodology that design educators can use to assess learning better and still consider the complexities of contemporary student life. Tactics, processes, and resources will be shared that educators within any educational context can begin using to adopt a more inclusive approach to grading.

Andreas Pappalas

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Interaction Design teaching and learning focuses on enabling the students to see a design project as a systematic process that includes the understanding of user needs, the discussion and deliberation around possible design solutions, making design decisions, and taking such decisions to prototyping and evaluation. The face-to-face delivery of Interaction Design teaching focuses on mentoring and problem/project based learning approaches.


Online teaching of Interaction Design comes with conflicting views, some highlighting its known opportunities and strengths, such as the ability to study at your own pace, the ability to choose programs that might not be offered locally, and others highlighting its possible challenges and shortcomings, for instance how do you safeguard the mentoring character of online teaching of design, how do you facilitate group work and proper feedback, how do you encourage creativity and novelty through remote supervision?


Building on our experience from the online delivery of a fully online MSc in Interaction Design (http://www.idmaster.eu), offered jointly by two universities (Tallinn University and Cyprus University of Technology) we will highlight the strengths and challenges that come with online teaching and learning of Interaction Design and Design in general. Examples of good practise and novel approaches for such a delivery of content will be discussed and demonstrated. The presentation will encourage input from the audience regarding this important topic for the Interaction Design community.

2019

3-4 February 2019 | Seattle

The 2019 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by the University of Washington

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Carla Diana, Cranbrook Academy of Art, United States

What if a design program enabled student work to flow freely from physical manifestations to digital ones, and vice versa? What if there were no set classes, but the directive to students pursue individual passion projects while an ever-evolving, curated collection of visiting designers challenges them with intensive charettes? What if students were selected to build upon one another’s knowledge, rather than rely on professors to deliver a codified body of information?  

These questions are part of my current exploration as founder and head of the 4D program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, a storied institution with a well-established tradition in American design education and an ongoing reputation for bleeding edge experimentation. In this talk, I’ll discuss a proposed framework for the new 4D Design department which will build on Cranbrook’s unique pedagogy and run as a design laboratory for creative applications of emerging technology. I’ll detail the topics and media that I hope to explore as well as a structure for seeking resources that can students develop a resilient approach to working in an area where a mastery of the medium is a moving target. I’ll look at key milestones as well as metrics for success, acknowledging the considerable challenges that graduate art and design programs face today. And I’ll consider multiple types of potential career paths for graduates.  

Attendees will ideally come away with questions and new thoughts around the potential of revising and restructuring their own curricula in order to empower the design student of the future.

Colin Gray, Purdue University, United States

In this talk, I describe the creation of a novel undergraduate user experience (UX) design program at Purdue University that focuses on learning strands that weave throughout a studio-based program. Instead of relying upon content-delineated coursework, where strands of competence necessary for practice are often siloed, the integrated studio encourages students to build a flexible design identity across five semesters, relating multiple strands of content to one another in a systematic way throughout their program. I describe the instructional design approach we used to develop the integrated studio and share a preliminary evaluation of student outcomes and professional success.

Maggie Hendrie, Art Center College of Design, United States

Jennifer May, Art Center College of Design, United States

In this talk, we outline practices, cases studies, and insights from a spring 2018 Interactive Data Visualization studio in ArtCenter’s Interaction Design department. We partnered with MIT Woodshole to explore how interaction design could improve Oceanographers’ work both on and off land and impact their science, both theoretical and practical. The project won a National Academy of Sciences grant to bring together scientists and designers to tackle an increasingly difficult challenge: to see, extract and communicate insights from complex data in narrative, scientific and educational contexts while maintaining the integrity of the original data. Understanding this data and making it actionable informs how oceanographers communicate key environmental science to other scientists, the public, and policymakers.

We hope that this talk will convey new teaching models and frameworks for complex partnerships within an institution and between partnering schools and universities. This can create a richer student experience, develop faculty teaching skills, fulfill partner needs, and garner opportunities for funding. In this example, we applied Interactive Data Visualization and HCD to a scientific problem but find that the methodology as it unfolds in the speculative syllabus of the lab is equally applicable to other types of collaborations and experimentation.

In parallel to developing the design brief the faculty, primary investigators, grant-making body, and ArtCenter’s program for social innovation (DesignMatters) crafted a new approach to curriculum. Expanding human centered design practices to support scientific methodologies and non-designer practitioners in multiple locations in a 14-week syllabus, undergraduate students created solutions that ranged from software UIs to Augmented Reality for collaboration, Immersive Exhibits and physical 3D printed teaching tools. The syllabus leveraged faculty experience in directing the Caltech/JPL/ArtCenter Interactive Data Visualization program and resulted in student internships at JPL, an ongoing HoloLens development and publication in NSF/NAKFI literature.

Enrique Von Rohr, Washington University in St. Louis, United States

"The logistics of teaching an applied class with external partners takes considerable time and coordination. Defining the project scope, identifying stakeholders and participants, coordinating tours, conducting interviews, and visiting facilities all involve extra planning—on top of meeting teaching objectives. Designing for healthcare experiences in clinical settings can be complicated, emotional, and fraught with uncertainty.  

And yet, the extra effort involved in pairing students with community partners to confront real-world healthcare situations is well worth it. For the past five years, students from business, engineering, humanities, and design have teamed up in my interaction design studio to address applied projects in healthcare spaces. Project topics have included complex patients, weight management, Alzheimer’s, mental health, nutrition, allergies, and gene therapy.

My studio seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice using a human centered approach to inform and explore interaction design. It challenges students to consider health’s wicked complexity by entering sensitive spaces and conversations that build empathy in the design process. To do this, students must have access to real-world situations, gain empathy, and test their solutions with real people. Access comes from finding partners who are committed and willing to bring us onto projects because they see the value design brings to their own innovation process. Student prototypes are presented to partners as potential opportunities for their innovation cycles. Our partners generally have four to five student teams tackling the same challenge, so they often continue refining the solutions past the timeline of the studio. The relationship becomes an iterative process that contributes to the culture of innovation for the organization and for the students.

Daniel Buzzo, University of the West of England, Bristol

Encouraging experimentation in inexperienced students helps break the mould of interface tropes and repetitions that are often delivered when visual decoration is mistaken for interaction. The push to experiment is a vital part of the process in generating new ideas and expanding horizons for young designers against a landscape of interaction design in flux.

Paloma Holmes, Normative, Canada

I ran away with the circus. More specifically, I spent two years conducting an immersive ethnographic study of circus pedagogy and communities in Montreal, Canada. What began as a sociological exploration of risk culture developed into a case study of radically different ways of approaching education and more engaged creative learning. I will share some of the key insights and best practices from these partnerships with schools that prioritize creative experimentation, collaboration, and precarious play within their curriculum.

Dianna Miller, Syracuse University, United States

For a decade, the conversation between IxD professionals and academics has focused on which skills we should teach—either via industry training programs or updated academic curricula—in order to best prepare designers to tackle the ever-evolving nature of the design problems we face across diverse industries and society. This talk considers the reasons why the answer may not lie in creating new curricula or training programs, but in studying and sharing explicit pedagogies (how to most effectively teach UX/IxD skills and knowledge) with instructors in related disciplines and each other. Stories from academic and professional training contexts will reveal the challenges of teaching user experience design topics to college students and mid-career professionals today, and offer practical solutions for how industry and academia can work together in low-cost, high-impact ways to help students to be ready to tackle designing-for-interactions topics wherever they encounter them professionally.

David Malouf

James Hallam, Redmond, Washington

"The logistics of teaching an applied class with external partners takes considerable time and coordination. Defining the project scope, identifying stakeholders and participants, coordinating tours, conducting interviews, and visiting facilities all involve extra planning—on top of meeting teaching objectives. Designing for healthcare experiences in clinical settings can be complicated, emotional, and fraught with uncertainty.  

And yet, the extra effort involved in pairing students with community partners to confront real-world healthcare situations is well worth it. For the past five years, students from business, engineering, humanities, and design have teamed up in my interaction design studio to address applied projects in healthcare spaces. Project topics have included complex patients, weight management, Alzheimer’s, mental health, nutrition, allergies, and gene therapy.  

My studio seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice using a human centered approach to inform and explore interaction design. It challenges students to consider health’s wicked complexity by entering sensitive spaces and conversations that build empathy in the design process. To do this, students must have access to real-world situations, gain empathy, and test their solutions with real people. Access comes from finding partners who are committed and willing to bring us onto projects because they see the value design brings to their own innovation process. Student prototypes are presented to partners as potential opportunities for their innovation cycles. Our partners generally have four to five student teams tackling the same challenge, so they often continue refining the solutions past the timeline of the studio. The relationship becomes an iterative process that contributes to the culture of innovation for the organization and for the students.

Isabelle Sperano, MacEwan University, Canada

Robert Andruchow

The video game environment in K-12 is extensively developed. However, once at university, students rarely encounter video games as a supplemental resource in their learning experiences. Additionally, most of those games are often too serious or not fun enough for students to play. Poor graphics, weak playability, bad usability: we have all encountered this experience at least once with an educational video game.

Can interaction design students do anything about it? In which areas could undergraduate interaction design students be involved when designing a serious video game? What unique learning experiences could be acquired by designing a serious video game? What are some challenges for the integration of serious game design in the classroom?

To answer these questions, we partnered with a biology professor interested in developing a video game for undergraduate biology students. This partnership was twofold: First, we integrated the video game project in an interaction design class. Then, we hired undergraduate interaction design and computing science students, in partnership with professors in biology and computing science, to work with us on the concept and then on the development of a video game prototype.

While most students had prior video game experience as players, it was a new genre to explore as an interaction designer for the majority. Students were very motivated to explore this new territory. Most solutions were interesting and had a lot of potential. However, developing an interesting and original concept, thoughtful game mechanics and good graphics take time, a lot more than expected. Also, as interaction design students are not biology experts (neither are we), they had to learn complex biology concepts to develop a game that was really credible and useful. Overall, this new exploration was a successful endeavor as it expanded students’ horizons regarding potential career paths interaction designers can pursue.

Michael Gibson, Graduate program coordinator,  Interaction Design

Troy Abel, Assistant Professor, Communication Design (User Experience Design Track)

Interaction and User Experience Design Professors Michael Gibson and Troy Abel of the University of North Texas’ Department of Design will make their case—based on more than 15 years of curriculum planning and in-design-classroom experience—for operating pedagogic approaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels that marry theoretical approaches with practical methods. As interaction and user experience design have evolved from being peripheral areas of study operating at the fringes of more traditionally located design programs, the need for IX and UX design students to broaden and deepen their understandings of “why they think how they think” about framing and developing given projects has increased considerably.  

Learning how and why research that informs design decision-making can be formulated and operated to yield socially, technologically, economically, environmentally and politically relevant, innovative and resilient outcomes requires usage of a broadly informed, rigorously examined toolkit of theoretical frameworks. Understanding how to deploy these allows students to learn to proactively guide project development opportunities, the strategies to manage them, and the means to contribute to agile workflows to ensure that real problems are resolved on behalf of real people in the real world.

We have learned that UX and IX design coursework that intertwines knowledge between using designerly approaches for contextualizing research with practical methods for engaging in it helps students in three key areas. First, it enables them to formulate more effective research questions; second, it increases their understandings about how their design and development efforts can positively catalyze the ways people live and work and meet particular goals; third, it empowers them to empower their users by ensuring that what they make and disseminate is easy to interpret and learn from and be acted upon. All of these are necessary for sustaining careers in governmental, private sector and community-based organizations.

Melanie Kong, Engineer and Educator, United States

"Why wait until university? Teaching design in high school equips students with empathy and a design thinking mindset that they can apply in any field they pursue. Plus, engaging with industry professionals exposes students to career possibilities they may have never imagined.

At a high school in Redmond, WA, students create startups in an interdisciplinary design, engineering, and business class. Through the iterative process of building a startup to serve specific customers, students are empowered with an entrepreneurial mindset, connected to a network of industry professionals, and exposed to frameworks and tools that help them design better products and businesses.

In this session, I’ll share my educator’s perspective in designing and teaching the course:  

1) What design and entrepreneurship education can look like at the high school level,

2) Why teaching design in high school (and earlier) benefits us all,  

3) How I keep instruction authentic, engaging, and relevant for students, and  

4) How I build industry partnerships and leverage partners as speakers, facilitators, mentors, and judges."

Moderated by Ana Arriola, General Manager & Partner, Microsoft AI + Research & Bing  

During this panel discussion, Ana Arriola will lead a group of industry leaders in a discussion about building a truly multi-disciplined approach to human-centered organizations. Panelists will discuss their experiences and challenges creating empathy-driven transformation and address how educators might help their students be prepared to play their role in the human-centered evolution of industry.

Andrew Davidson, University of Washington, United States

Sadia Bashir, cofounder, Pixel Games Academy

Sadia Bashir is the founder/CEO of PixelArt Games Academy (PGA), which is Pakistan's only Games Academy. She has a bachelors and MS in computer science and has done research about Game Development Practices in industry during her masters research. She has been working in the game industry for past 8 years and has started PixelArt games academy about 2 years ago. PGA is a training academy teaching game development, design and production, art and animation through collaborative learning experience. She has also established a GameLab at PGA to help developers to design & implement creative ideas. She has been listed as Forbes 30 Under 30 in Enterprise technology 2018 and recognized as a Global Gaming Citizen at The Game Awards 2018 by Facebook Gaming.

2018

3-4 February 2018  | Lyon

The 2018 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by the ENS (École Normale Supérieure) de Lyon

Workshop classroomREAD THE ARTICLES

Brenda Laurel, Principal at Neogaian Interactive

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I want to persuade educators to make human-centered design research the launch point for an education in interaction design. I have taught design research in higher education for about seventeen years, beginning at Art Center College of Design then at California College of the Arts and most recently at University of California Santa Cruz. As I look back, I’m struck by how much I learned from my students — what they did as well as how our interactions enriched all of us. This document is a brief summary.

Joe Edelman

Adam Dunford, inUse Experience, Gothenburg, Sweden

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“All you Scandinavian schools are too focused on products and not enough on process!”

I had returned to school to get a master’s degree in interaction design and was co-presenting a project at a student design conference. After our presentation, a professor at another school complained about our presentation. She said it was too polished and didn’t focus enough on our methodology. From my years of being “in the industry,” I had gotten used to the idea that results were what counted. Was I not learning what I ought to from my time in school?

Thomas Fogarasy, Founder, Designer at Exalt Interactive

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The design industry is obsessed with data, usability, conversion time. Efficiency. But is efficiency the best indicator we want to teach to our design students? Is optimised production really the message? Interaction design, experience design goes way beyond that, this is why we should be careful about what and how we teach. Especially when it comes to tools.

Karen Kornblum Berntsen

Doug Powell

Jhumkee Iyengar, Principal Consultant, User in Design and Founder, Ohrna

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When the stakeholders of thoughtful design are not just its customers but also its makers, Design becomes a tool of inclusion.

A people-centered design initiative, albeit in a somewhat different context: homebound women, organic materials, craft traditions and global outreach were the chosen criteria that were piloted and realized in ‘project OHRNA’.

Richard Anderson, OE Strategy

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Definitions of the type of design we practice suggest a strong commitment to activism: the many of the labels increasingly applied to it (e.g., human-centered design, purpose-driven design, design through collective action, …), the missions and proclamations of many of it’s professional organizations (including IxDA), the types of institutions where it is taught, the focus of design organizations where it is practiced, the types of projects designers are increasingly choosing (e.g., working on “wicked social problems”), and the nature of the codes of ethics increasingly advocated for designers.

Aditi Kulkarni, Head of Design, ReferralCandy

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In the 90s in India we used the word TubeLight as an insult. For someone who is slow or lights up too late. Basically the last person in the room to get the joke :)

Ralf Schneider, Syracuse University

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Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are rapidly gaining popularity. The associated augmentation technology is improving at a fast pace and presents significant new interaction design challenges.

Graham Pullin

Matteo Loglio & Serena Cangiano

Jodi Leo, SVA IxD, RISD

Erica Heinz, SVA IxD, Parsons

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How can we protect and propagate conceptual methods in curricula and temper the trend towards tactical mindsets? We shared research conducted with students, faculty and hiring managers to seed a discussion with IxDA’s community of passionate practitioners and educators.

A portfolio-obsessed design culture at universities leads to a diminishing of the conceptual activities that we believe will produce the next great crop of designers. Unfeasible deadlines and agile methodologies in work environments reinforce this culture where thinking feels unbillable.

Alex Wright, Etsy and Carnegie Mellon School of Design

Erica Dorn, Managing Director, The Good Work Institute

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Interaction designers shape the everyday experiences of billions of people across the planet. Yet for all their reach and influence, many practicing designers nonetheless struggle to incorporate long-term time horizons into their work. In an age of big data, A/B testing and Lean/Agile methods, those challenges are growing more pronounced as designers often find themselves working in environments that tend to prioritize short-term, measurable outcomes over more complex, systemic concerns.

Ashley Walls, Microsoft

Margaret Price, Microsoft, Microsoft

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Humans have been at the center of design practices for a long time. Although product makers and designers have always sought to understand their customers, they often miss an opportunity. This participatory workshop uncovered how exclusion is designed into experiences today and introduced inclusive methodologies available that remove barriers, increase access, and create adaptive systems for one or seven billion.

Christopher Pandolfi, Department of Unusual Certainties / Institute without Boundaries, George Brown College

Robert Giusti, Institute without Boundaries, George Brown College

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As we enter the 21st century, the experience of life in the contemporary has surpassed the classic development models of the 20th century. We are living in the 50/50 (some might say 70/30), a fluid presence between the virtual and physical worlds. This is shaping alternative modes for how we exist, providing us with the potential to manage and create multiple realities and stories which influence how we want to be seen and understood.

The major issue we face is how to adapt and understand ideologies, structures and systems in this new way of living, modifying the definition of cities to encompass the experiences of the invisible cities that extend beyond physical infrastructure.

Denise A Heckman, Syracuse University, School of Design

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What is Interaction design? Is that UX or UI that you are doing?

Let’s begin with the same queries but change the subject so we are addressing the following fields: What is the role of the mathematician, the architect, the engineer, or even the English major in the contemporary world?

None of the questions lead to concise or consistent answers but the legitimacy of these fields and their place in academe are not in question. Each of these areas of inquiry (while consistently in a healthy state of flux) is afforded legitimacy that is the result of years of history.

2017

3-4 February 2018  | Lyon

The 2017 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by SVA (School of Visual Arts)

Professor of Design and Emerging Technology at Parsons, The New School for Design, and Partner at Dunne & Raby

Barb Spanton, Design Lead at Shopify and Instructor at Algonquin College

It’s one thing to teach design to a group of students who self-identify as designers. It’s something quite different to teach design to a group of students who at best don’t self-identify as designers, or at worst wish they didn’t have to take your course at all. An entirely different set of teaching objectives and strategies are needed for these students to learn how design is relevant to the roles with which they do identify, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to contribute towards good design outcomes in the larger scope of cross-disciplinary teams.

Gary Chou, Founder, Orbital, Faculty MFA Interaction Design, SVA

Christina Xu, Independent Ethnographer, Multi Entry and Faculty MFA Interaction Design, SVA

Over the past four years, Christina Xu and Gary Chou have co-taught the Entrepreneurial Design course at School of Visual Arts MFA in Interaction Design.

The course challenges students to make $1,000 by the end of the semester by launching an original idea. Through this, the students learn not just the basics of how to launch a project, but how to establish an identity online, work in public, and activate the collective agency of networks.

In this talk, we will discuss the lessons that have emerged that apply to all designers and creators as we move away from an industrial paradigm of design.

Megan Fath, Design Practice Lead, Doblin, and Faculty Design for Social Innovation at SVA

Design education has typically prepared generations of future designers to work in a traditional agency or design consulting capacity. As John Maeda’s recent industry report captured and what we have all observed with recent acquisitions, designers are beginning to be pulled into new organizational constructs that may not look like the studio or firm environments that are known and familiar. This talk explores some early thoughts on how we might prepare our next generation of designers to thrive in these new types of collaborations.

Somya Hastekar, Designer at ThoughtWorks, Visiting Faculty at SPA Delhi

While interaction design was about buttons & flowcharts a few years back, it is now about conversations & gestures. And tomorrow it might be about scripting artificial lives. So how does design learning counteract such ephemerality? Can the permanence of real-world experiences be an answer?

Using real-life interactions with furniture in public spaces as a medium, students in the Masters of Product Design program at SPA in Delhi were introduced to concepts of affordance, user engagement, contextual innovation & social consciousness. Each pair of students was assigned an iconic public space of Delhi, and using recycled materials they designed seating experiences as a response to the context of that area. Their design journeys ended in some innovative and socially experimental ideas.

This exercise brought back the fundamentals of physical experience design into digital interaction design. Something that is becoming essential for interaction design education as the physical & digital worlds collide.

Allan Chochinov, Chair, MFA Products of Design, SVA, and Partner, Core77

The power of design to create meaningful change is on its way to matching the power of design to move markets. But what about the areas where design might fear to tread, or “has no business” inserting itself? Through over a dozen examples—from designing for assisted suicide or teaching children criminal arts, to providing wayfinding to urban violence or creating consumer electronics for recording prison abuse—this lecture will look at design at the margins, highlighting projects that are daring, maybe objectionable, perhaps even “illegitimate,” in order to find out what might be just inside, or just outside, the reasonable limits of design practice and education.

Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, Partner and Design Director at SITU Studio

How does your environment change the way your work? And how can it foster innovation and creative thinking? In this session, we explore how spaces influence creativity, collaboration and community building. Using interdisciplinary case studies from our architectural practice, we examine how organizations across industries are re-examining their surroundings to increase productive and meaningful interaction.

First we’ll focus on our re-envisioning and renovation of an office within Google’s NYC headquarters, one that functions as a creative powerhouse and delivers some of the company’s most innovative work. Second, we share our work for the New York Hall of Science, where we designed and built five immersive hands-on learning environments known as Design Lab, a new breed of flexible learning spaces.

Our presentation will include project video, photo documentation, diagrams, drawings, renderings, and animated representation. We’ll discuss our design philosophy and the processes behind making these unique spaces for interaction and learning.

Lauren Johnson, Lecturer at Columbia College Chicago

As educators and design thinkers, we must focus on the process and not just the end goal. This presentation will address the benefits of creating learning environments that allow students to take risks and fail; through this failure, they become more resilient, more realistic, and more accountable. In turn, their future work is more thoughtful and they have a greater ability to be nimble, collaborate, and pivot away from ineffective ideas.

Jamie Cavanaugh, Associate Professor of Interaction Design, Santa Monica College

With the changing landscape in higher education, what is the future of Interaction Design education? What are the challenges of teaching the next generation of interaction designers? Four-year degrees are incredibly expensive. The student demographic is becoming increasingly non-traditional. The field of Interaction Design doesn’t reflect the diversity of our communities. And more!

This case study will delve into these issues as it highlights how degree programs at community colleges can go a long way toward solving them as well as the challenges that programs like this face. We’ll take a close look at the Interaction Design Bachelor of Science degree at Santa Monica College, one of the first baccalaureate degrees approved by the California Community College system and the first Interaction Design Bachelor’s degree in the United States to be offered at a community college.

Molly Wright Steenson, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University School of Design

Phil van Allen, Professor and Core Faculty Member at Art Center College of Design

This workshop offers insights, case studies, and techniques for educators and students facing the disruptive new mediums of this era. After years of percolation, AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence and IoT are a major force in the market, gaining adoption and experiencing major investments. Interaction Designers have an essential role in shaping how these disruptive technologies play a role in life and business. But because of the radical new kinds of interactions and technologies, learning and producing true innovations for these new mediums is challenging.

How can educators support the next generation of designers when the faculty are learning themselves? How do we get past the hype and dig into the deeper issues of these radical new mediums.  What lessons can we take from previous disruptions? What are the most appropriate learning outcomes of these courses? And how do we critique designs and evaluate educational success?

Product Design Team, Facebook

In this two-hour workshop, we’ll talk about education the Facebook way. Design Program Managers, UX Researchers, and Product Designers will share examples and stories of how education programs can be an integral part of design culture. In a series of lightning talks, we will discuss the methods and impact of design education, explore formal and informal structures, and share personal narratives of how education programming can impact design careers.

The lightning talks include:

Education & Design Culture

By definition, culture is the manifestation of collective human intellectual achievement. In the design world, culture is not your color palette or your preferred typeface. Design culture is the result of how you act on your values and beliefs. In this talk, we will discuss the phases of building design culture and how education reinforces cultural patterns and behaviors in startups and tech companies. By the end of the talk, you will have a sense for how get started with identifying needs and developing design education in your own company or team.


Wisdom Everywhere

We’ll discuss enabling casual knowledge sharing and peer mentorship, Women of Facebook Design, and how we unlocked knowledge and experiences already existing within our community. We’ll also discuss creating a platform, self-organizing and establishing legitimacy, planting inspiration, generating sustained momentum, identifying questions/needs within the community, incentivizing others and building confidence, creating leadership opportunities, or our formal mentorship program.


Finding Your Path

We will interview 4-5 designers at Facebook who took non-linear paths and discuss the support systems and decisions that helped them navigate along the way.


Breakout session

We will identify education styles, backgrounds, and career paths that set people apart on the race track.

Brittany Schade, Assistant Professor of Interactive Design at Western Washington University

Those trying to get into the field of UX have to clear some hurdles in order to do so. They need both training and experience. What if design programs could find a way to bridge the gap between school and industry that offers both flexible curriculum and real-world experience? This presentation will examine three multidisciplinary UX course models that have been taught over the past 5 years. From co-teaching to collaborating with agencies, this talk will share insights that highlight the successes and challenges of teaching and developing curriculum for a quickly evolving field like UX, including examples of student outcomes and experimental course structures.

Jennifer Rittner, Principal, Content Matters and Faculty at Products of Design, SVA

How can designers dismantle systems of injustice, not only to free those who are materially disenfranchised by design but also those who are imprisoned by privilege and bias? Teaching design students to be purposeful interrogators of self, systems and society is a starting point. In a class setting, we begin with an exploration of intersectional identity to expose our various experiences of codified social behavior then work to deeply interrogate systems in which they are entrenched. The goal is to expose to designers the incredible privilege and responsibility they face in creating work that, by nature of its existence, either advances or undermines social justice for all.

Chris Courtney, Director of the Design Program at Bloc, Inc.

Every year thousands of designers graduate from our educational institutions, yet many are not hired even though thousands of open positions go unfilled. Why is that? At Bloc, we’ve had conversations with hundreds of design program graduates and the design leaders who have hired them. This gives us a very good read on how graduates successfully land jobs as well as what design leaders see in these graduates that makes them want to bring them on. This talk will break apart what the ideal design graduate looks like to industry and investigate how we as educators can prepare the next wave of graduates to have a greater chance of success.

Marina Jukić, Design Team Lead at Infinum

The continual rise of the digital economy in Croatia over the past ten years has created a strong need for experienced digital media designers. However, visual communication courses offered by Croatian universities and colleges are mostly focused on print media. Only a few courses even scratch the surface of digital design. Design students in Croatia are eager to be a part of this new economy. While they can teach themselves with online resources, online education still can’t compete with the teamwork, practice, and feedback of real-life design.

This is why Infinum started Infinum Design Academy, a free 8-week course in UX/UI design for design students and recent graduates. The program offers a combination of free lectures and practical exercises through which students get a first-hand experience in designing functional and aesthetically pleasing user interfaces. This talk will explore how this program helps fill the gap in design education.

Christina Wodtke, Owner of Wodtke Consulting and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts

All educators seek the magic trinity of attention, comprehension, and retention. For interaction design educators, the struggle to achieve these goals is even greater. Hopeful designers enter the field with lofty aspirations, yet they still need to learn the fundamental principles of design and build the core skills of an interaction designer. While keeping design students engaged is undoubtedly a challenge, there is a medium that allows students to internalize the fundamentals of design by experiencing them.

Games.

Games have become ubiquitous in our culture. They are inherently engaging. Some are good and some are… not. By teaching design students how to design games, educators expose their students to the basics of interaction design in ways that the students can experience themselves. Concepts like affordance, skill-building, storytelling, and emotion become real rather than just conceptual. Altering the parameters of their games helps students feel the effect these concepts have on their games.

This method has the potential to improve interaction design education across the board by ensuring that design graduates have internalized the fundamentals by the time they are ready to enter the field. What’s more, any design educator can learn to teach interaction design by teaching their students how to design games. After all, it’s fun!

Paul Ford, Author, Co-founder of Postlight, Faculty MFA Interaction Design, SVA

2016

28-29 February 2016 | Helsinki

The 2016 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by Aalto University

Xiangyang XIN, School of Design, Jiangnan University

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Andy Budd, Clearleft

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Matt Nish-Lapidus

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Jessica Greco

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Alexander Wilcox-Cheek

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Eva Durall, Heidi Uppa
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Aaron Ganci, Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design, Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

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Jacqueline Bytnar, Charles Hannon

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Austin S. Lee, Peter Scupelli, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

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Dan Winterberg, Practice Lead and Senior Designer, Cooper

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Kitty Bourne , Kaleem Khan, Andrea Ong- Pietkiewicz

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Lauren Currie, Daniel Harvey

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Sarit Youdelevich

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Priscilla Esser, Michel Witter

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Adam Smith, Timothy Wood

Ian Fenn

2015

8 February 2015 | San Francisco

The 2015 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by the California College of the Arts (CCA)

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From wearables, to the Internet of Things, to smart cities - technology is an essential and integrated aspect of our lives. It can measure, process and respond to anything at any time, in any place. The challenge is how do we turn this amazing technology into something useful. The good news is that accessible and customizable open-source products (such as Arduino) make it is possible for the non-engineer to develop the next big thing. As a result even the more traditional creative practices such as fashion design, jewelry or art are able to incorporate technology into their designs. However, there is no consistency in how to educate design school students on technology so they can use it in the design process. This panel will explore the growing need of technology education in the design school setting and what is needed going forward.  The panel will comprise design school technology leaders and faculty who are at the forefront of  technology education in the design school curriculum and they will discuss the current and future trends in this area.

Jenna Date

Over the last 6 years I’ve had the delight of teaching a series of project courses at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.  After guiding 400+ students through the research and design process, I’ve discovered how to sell and contract academic projects, build curriculum for “just-in-time” information sharing, and mentor interdisciplinary student teams. All in the effort to educate the next generation of Interaction Designers and produce industry standard products and services for large enterprises, nonprofits and local start-ups.

Atif Akin

This paper aims at revealing the potential and pedagogical benefits of teaching basic design studio courses by employing algorithmic graphic programming techniques. It proposes a new pedagogical approach for Bauhaus model basic design education.

Procedural aesthetics in the last decade became more and more popular with the progress of open source communities such as Processing and data-driven society. The paper includes visual research of formal affinities in Bauhaus-style basic design education (Bauhaus Vorkurs) and procedure-driven aesthetics. The paper discusses the gems and hinders of computerization of design education and proposes that, due to their structural character, algorithmic ways of digital graphic production are pedagogically more beneficial than common-use software which provides graphical user interfaces, for the foundation year.

In modern design education, the curriculum of most basic design studios is set as bare adaptations of Bauhaus, as put by Rudolf Arnheim: “The unification of comprehension and perception leads to visual thinking.” Teaching through visual thinking involves the practice of principles such as unity/harmony, balance, hierarchy, scale/proportion, similarity, contrast, repetition by the use of elements such as line, color, space, and basic geometric shapes. Recently, increasing literalness in graphic coding languages bridged the gap between the code and the visible. Algorithmic procedures in graphic coding render the application of principles such as repetition, order, hierarchy much more structured and easier. Also, the adaption of the parametric definition of color, such as the Munsell model, by programming platforms, facilitates the systematic application of color in a relative context.

Jeremy Yullie, RMIT

Designers are notoriously inexperienced with business concepts. At Interaction 08, Bill Buxton and Alan Cooper both told us that design needed to move upstream to have input into organizational strategy, and why Interaction Designers have unique talents to bear on this situation. The educational discourse still seems to be focused on production skills.

Inspired by Agile and Lean movements, and programs like AC4D and CCA's Design Strategy MBA, we set out in 2013 to develop an undergraduate course exploring how designers can identify, create, and communicate *value* in different organizational contexts. These ranged from retail and service businesses to Government and not-for-profit organizations. In 2014 we delivered the course to 140 3rd year undergrads in Melbourne & 60 3rd year students in Singapore.

This presentation will discuss what we learned from these two iterations of the content, and what we're doing in the next version. I'll particularly discuss:

• how self-knowledge plays a great role in developing reflective practice

• why it can be hard to scale this kind of education (and some thoughts on how to address this)

• what we've taken from this experience to inform the development of our new Master of Design Futures program

Joel Eden, Design Researcher, Google

Education is very important to me; and so are big ideas. I am proud to have gone from being a high school dropout (who preferred skateboarding over sitting still in class) to earning a BS in Computer Science and a PhD in Information Science/HCI. I am concerned that practicing IxDs/UXers do not get enough education in the area of human behavior and cognition, systems thinking, and older but still relevant ideas from design related fields. I'm currently working on an integration of what I feel are 5 powerful ideas that play really well together, from a Systems Thinking view; these ideas are Systems Thinking/Emergence, Distributed Cognition, Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Languages, Scenarios (a la Cooper), and Lean processes. I think big, powerful ideas like these are getting left behind in IxD/UX education. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to bump up against such big ideas, and now to have the interest in trying to integrate them. I think there is a place for such big ideas in even the most “practical” of IxD/UX educational systems, and I would like to help others find the big ideas that will guide them through their careers, finding beauty in our collective fields that goes beyond the individual products and services we design.

Christina Wodtke

I've been teaching entrepreneurship to designers for only a year now, but I've been amazed at swift and powerful the results are. Designers feel able to participate in hard product discussions, uncover and promote insights to improve the business model and even make better decisions about their personal life, from salary negotiation to budget-making. That's bc entrepreneurship is a microcosm of business, simple yet complete. Along with technology and user research, business must be a common core in design education. Entrepreneurship is the best way to do it.

Fred Beecher

User experience design is a profession that requires constant learning. Continual education is critical not only for improving your design chops but also for just keeping up with the field! The idea of continually educating yourself might seem exhausting, but the reality doesn’t have to be. If you’re on a design team, there’s design happening all around you. If your project stalls or your workload drops, other people’s projects become your learning opportunity! Design teams can learn to transform their downtime into an investment in three simple steps: Share, Surface, Seize. Learn the details behind these three steps and how to implement them to create a perpetual learning environment on your team! Your team will increase not only in skill but also in engagement and productivity.

Rachel Fujita

This paper examines the potential for integrating Experiential Design (XD) within the context of a traditional Interaction Design curriculum. This shift will better prepare students to work in a constantly evolving, competitive, and expanding field of design. Through documented student projects, we will explore the development of XD strategies and methodologies through the blending of traditional graphic design foundations, interactive, and time based media and strategies that transform a user experience beyond the page and screen. Additionally, the success of this type of new curriculum model is afforded by the colocation of Art, Design, New Media, and Architecture in an interdisciplinary college.

The development of Experiential Design curriculum is influenced by several student project case studies that are designed to transition students’ abilities to think about interaction design and storytelling as a fundamental component of XD. Students are encouraged to think beyond their comfort zones that are situated on traditional media types of print and web. Both interactive and time based design technologies are introduced simultaneously within the premise of an environment where a message or story is to be immersive.

Jhumkee Iyengar, Principal Consultant, User In Design
A series of design workshops conducted in rural India had interesting and illuminating findings. The effort required a convergence of diverse issues like emerging market considerations, the bottom of the pyramid, Indian design, and design education methods.  These rural workshops began with a hypothesis about design education and led to an experiment in contextual design. They also began with the assumption that the urban designer’s repertoire does not easily include designing for the ‘other 90 percent.’
Initial efforts of teaching design to rural teenagers met with success and thereafter evolved into an experiment with training rural teachers. A curriculum with commonly used design principles and approaches and design problems formed the key groundwork.
With the initial hypothesis validated, more specific contextual design methods and design thinking approaches like problem discovery, field research, and iterative design were applied alongside collaboration with and mentoring by post-graduate design students. The journey has been gratifying while results have been beyond expectations, enlightening, and of widespread applicability.
Directions for inclusive and broader education have emerged, with the potential to begin shaping the next generation of designs, designers, and design education, and focus on the rural segment in India and other countries.

Pontus Warnestal

How can we leverage the design studio learning environment to support students in their progress from tactical, well-defined, device-centric routine design, to confidently design sustainable solutions for strategic, “wicked”, and device-agnostic problems? For our undergraduate program Digital Design and Innovation given at Halmstad University, we have worked on a studio course model that can be used to design course progressions within – and between – series of design studio courses. Teachers are co-designers, there are no lectures, and we work exclusively with real design briefs from companies and other organizations to gain authenticity and spark the students’ interest. Furthermore, student teams are assembled based on their interests and competence, as reported in a survey that is sent out a few weeks before the course starts. This allows the students to focus on their own goals for the course and allows teachers to assemble balanced teams. An important part of our studio course setup is the portfolio, where both artifacts and individual reflections on design process and learning outcomes are documented.

In this talk, I will summarize what we have learned so far, and hopefully ignite a discussion on how we can move forward with authentic and relevant design education in the studio.

Adrienne Foster, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

In a decade of decreased support for public institutions of higher education and an exponentially growing industry for interactive media, there is a chasm between what skills and experiences small liberal arts colleges can provide for students interested in designing for interactive media, and what skills the industry expects from these students once they reach the job market. For educators in schools that are too small to have entire programs or even regularly offered courses in IXD, how can interaction designer-educators integrate into existing coursework a broader awareness and understanding of IXD as a critical component of interactive media product development? This presentation will share a team-based projects course model that brings together students from visual design, game development, communications, computer science, and business, to experience a more realistic (interdisciplinary) product development cycle, allowing for the overall design focus to be centered around the user rather than on the minutia of the individual disciplines involved. Two on-going student projects that demonstrate this interdisciplinary, team-based model will be presented: an undergraduate research project investigating the relationship between UI/IX/UX and public opinion of internet privacy policies; and a student-run lean start-up company that is developing a web-based, eSports social media app.

Damian Calderon, Argentina

Meet Taller UX, a workshop format designed as an open educational resource to help new IxDA communities to grow faster in Latin America. The talk features Taller UX as an example of what can be accomplished when collaboration and education are used together for community building.

Don Norman

Aynne Valencia

We are in a critical time in design education. Interaction Design has become a lucrative and popular career for career switchers and prospective students. The rising cost of traditional education has driven many students to seek alternatives to universities and design schools. This has led to inconsistencies about what can be considered a design education. What can universities learn from the alternative schools and what do the alternative schools need to know about academia?

What are subjects are universities and design schools *not* teaching that they should?  What do we need to teach to develop and cultivate well-rounded designers? In this talk, I will go over lessons learned from teaching design, findings from other design managers and business leaders.  I will discuss what is missing from design education and propose specific recommendations on what we can do as educators to bridge the education gap.

2014

8 February 2014 | Utrecht

The 2014 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was hosted by TU Delft and HKU

Jared Spool

At a moment in time where everybody and everything is constantly interacting — through the use of networks, apps, products, media and services — educating students to design these interactions is not only needed, but also a fundamental challenge. Rapid developments in society and technology put increasingly high demands on the knowledge and skills of future interaction designers. Challenging traditional institutions, some companies have started programs for in-house training. At the same time, alternative educational platforms — such as edX, Udacity and Interaction-Design.org — are offering open access to high-level learning materials.

To successfully address these developments, interaction design education might need to reinvent itself.

2013

27 January 2013 | Toronto

The 2013 IxDA Interaction Design Education Summit was a full day workshop held at OCADU as part of Interaction 13

A panel of presenters

At almost every Interaction conference, a group of individuals met at some sort of lunch break or other off time to discuss interaction design education. Beginning with Interaction 13, we formalized this gathering and crafted a full day workshop about the various issues facing interaction education in all relevant contexts.

The goals of the event were to better understand the global problem space of interaction design education both in formal and informal formats. Academics, mentors, conference speakers, continuing education creators, students, practitioners and employers lent their voices.

All attendees contributed through hands-on working sessions around special topics: curriculum, research, portfolios, apprenticing, continuing education, and industry-academia relationships.

Facilitated by: Dave Malouf, Haig Armen, Kendra Shimmell, Kristian Simsarian & Dianna Miller

Interaction 23 partners

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