Design at The Edge
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Division: University-wide Programs
Department: University Lecture Program
Course Number: ULEC 2490
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Design Usability
Today, we live in beta. Major global forces are changing our institutions, our careers and the way we live our lives. The relative rise and fall of nations—Asia and the West, and generations—Gen Y and the Boomers; urbanization; global warming and digitalization of connection and discourse are undermining our existing economic, educational, health and political systems, forcing massive disruptions in our organizations and our own sense of identity. The locus of solutions in this era of constant flux is Design. When the future lacks visibility, creative Design Thinking can guide us through a world of ambiguity and change. This course will focus on how Design can take us into cultures that are both familiar and foreign and reveal truths and trends that can provide the ideas for new products, services and experiences. It will explain how the package of tools and methods of Ethnography can generate the kind of knowledge that designers can translate into creative solutions, from new sustainable fashions for bike riders in New York City to new forms of drip irrigation for rural Indian villagers; from new FaceBook-based health care practices for doctors in Brooklyn to new online learning for Navajo elementary school children in Arizona; from less expensive university learning in the U.S., to inexpensive transportation for elderly British people in distance towns. In a series of lectures that will include a global roster of guest speakers and Parsons' own world-famous faculty, we will explore the new space of Design and Ethnography. We will examine global Gen Y youth cultures of China, India, the US, Latin America and Europe; women’s cultures; street cultures; urban cultures; and, of course, digital cultures. We will have speakers from top innovation and design consultancies such as IDEO, ZIBA Design, fuseprojects, Continuum, and Smart Design. We will bring in the top trend spotting analysts, from fashion houses to cell phone makers (Nokia). And we will invite young artists to tell their stories—how they see and hear and translate that into their art. Readings will include books, blogs, biographies, websites and videos. The course will be a collaboration, not a lecture series. Speakers will interact with the students at each presentation And students will be asked to form small teams to do their own ethnographic research and develop a design brief for something new, exciting and useful.
Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course.
Open to Undergraduate students.