As corporations, governmental organizations, and civil associations face accelerating change in uncertain times, increasingly they are looking to designers for new ways of thinking and acting.
Designers today are engaged as thought leaders, strategists, activists, and agents of change in complex socio-technical problems throughout private, public, civil and philanthropic sectors worldwide.
For designers trained to shape futures defined by uncertainty and change, these exponential times represent unprecedented creative opportunities for innovation. In this course, students explore methods and tools for design in exponential times to shape uncertain futures. Students will explore the forces that drive change in the future (i.e., social, economic, political, environmental, technological), and learn to align innovation strategically with the trajectories of those forces.
The design project that drives everything else is the future of mega-metropolitan regions, the hubs of innovation where 70% of people in the world and 75% of Americans will live in 2050. In the semester long project, students create scenarios for Life 2050 in Metro 3.0, using Pittsburgh as a locus and focusing on a project within urban systems such as Sustainable Production & Consumption, Lifelong Learning, Human Development and Community Resilience.
Welcome to DEXIGN THE FUTURE: Human Centered Innovation for Exponential Times. The goal of this course is to engage you in the integrated reality of the design world through a semester long project situated in Pittsburgh circa year 2050. You will learn to use long-range strategic scenarios to understand the forces that create change and shape the design of material culture, communication environments, services, lifestyles, social interactions, and community. The focus of the course is to create design scenarios for sustainable lifestyles (e.g., home, work, learning, health, community, mobility, play). It is our core belief that, the slogan “DEXIGN THE FUTURE” is an open invitation for designers to rise to the challenges that threaten our collective future and seize the creative opportunities that turbulent change affords.
In this course you will:
- Understand the role of designers in an explosively dynamic field / profession in a radically transforming world.
- Learn the tools, skills, resources required to be a proactive agent of positive change in the planet.
- Collaborate with researchers / professionals across campus and the Pittsburgh region.
- Gain teamwork experience to understand how high performing multi-disciplinary teams operate.
- Challenge yourself to push the boundaries of what you think you can do as a designer.
- Integrate rigorous design process and design research.
- Conduct exploratory, generative and evaluative research, throughout the design process.
- Create design artifacts that demonstrate your understanding of a four step design process: (a) definition, (b) discovery, (c) concept, (d) refinement, reflection, and communicating your design.
- For each step of the design process you will learn to demonstrate mastery of design methods, design research, and client communication.
- Work and learn from and with each other, in small teams, and as an entire class.
The Dexign the Future course was taught fall 2013 by Arnold Wasserman and Peter Scupelli at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. The Introduction to Dexign the Future course is taught at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University by Peter Scupelli fall semester 2014. The course blog is available here: https://dexignthefuture.wordpress.com
all materials copyright © Scupelli & Wasserman 2013 unless otherwise noted.