Vote for These Panels to See SDCT at SXSW 2024


August 15, 2023

Headed to South by Southwest next spring? So are we! We invite you to vote for the following panels featuring faculty, staff, and students from the School of Design and Creative Technologies.

Panel Picker voting ends on Sunday, August 20. Thank you for your consideration.

Visualizing Transgender Day of Remembrance

From SDCT: Cathryn Ploehn, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

In this session, we will describe our design process of visualizing data of lives lost due to anti-trans hate. Along the way, interrogate larger trends in designing data visualizations for grief and solidarity. In times of loss, how do we live in good relationship to the dead represented as data? We explore key principles of data-driven, interactive storytelling that help us hold the weight of loss.

Is Design Thinking Dead?

From SDCT: Gray Garmon, Director of the Center for Integrated Design, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

All great ideas have a lifecycle – be born, mature, evolve or die. Design Thinking is on that same path and we are at a crossroads: does the process evolve into something more rigorous or does it die? Design thinking rocketed to the forefront of promising approaches to make positive change in the world but its first iteration wasn’t enough to fully realize that promise. Design Thinking must evolve. We have an evolution to share that democratizes design methods in an ethical, rigorous way that addresses the complexity of making positive social change and disrupting the status quo.

DreamUp: A Board Game to Inspire Creative Problem-Solvers

From SDCT: Gray Garmon, Director of the Center for Integrated Design, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

We are developing DreamUp, a game of creativity, collaboration, and reimagining everyday life. We believe everyone is creative and has the potential to design imaginative solutions to any problem if given the right tools and structure. DreamUp combines design methods and the mechanics of gameplay into a joyful game. Players learn about how to solve problems, but it doesn’t feel like work. This game might be deployed with students at K12 schools and universities, with project teams in the field, and with friends and family at home. We are seeking feedback on DreamUp!

Body Politics and the Artist's Role in Bio-Divergence

From SDCT: Jiabao Li, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

In this panel, we explore the audacious intersection of technology, body politics, and the human drive to redefine biological destinies. As bio-modification becomes democratized, the average individual now possesses the power to hack their own biology. We examine critical developments in biohacking, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), DIY gene editing, and particularly, the reimagining of womb carrying via surrogacy and IVF, along with the emerging realm of trans-species exploration. This new body politic is shifting the narrative of reproductive autonomy and redefining our genomic inheritance.

Win Friends Not Battles: Insights from Animal Influencers

From SDCT: Jiabao Li, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

Discover inspiring arts and sciences influencers at our 1-hour panel, crafting campaigns that ignite positive action and community. Despite challenges, our science educators and artists employ environmentally-rigorous, inclusive, uplifting marketing methods to win friends, instead of battles, for progress. Uncover a behind-the-scenes look into how individual, non-profit, and commercial organizations can start grassroots-level marketing campaigns to reach an audience of tens of thousands, even in fields as complex as the arts and sciences. Join us to win friends not battles!

Generative AI in Class: Female Leadership Perspectives

From SDCT: Dr. Julie Schell, Assistant Vice Provost of Academic Technology, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

How is Generative AI changing the way we prepare students to address society’s most pressing needs? What are some key ethical questions to be asking as we transform the way we teach? How can design thinking help chart a path forward now that AI is here to stay? During this interactive workshop led by women leaders from UT Austin and Waco ISD, participants will learn how to design effective, ethics-forward lesson plans and syllabi that incorporate AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E.

21st Century Production Design: Digital/Analog Mixology

From SDCT: Karen Maness, Lecturer and Charge Scenic Artist for Texas Performing Arts

Conversation with award-winning Production Designers Rick Carter, Nathan Crowley, and Alex McDowell, reflecting on their careers, aesthetic influences, and integration of richly built, in-camera environments for motion pictures. Examine how, when, and why painted backdrops and physical effects supported their visual storytelling. Discover simple classic problem-solving cinematic techniques coupled with the power of game engines to create worlds. Potential Case Studies: The Greatest Showman, Tenet, Interstellar, Dunkirk, The Terminal, Watchmen, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Decolonizing Graphic Design

From SDCT: Kate Canales, Design Department Chair

Dr. Cheryl D. Miller's course, "Decolonizing Graphic Design, A Black Perspective," provides educators with instruments to expand the canon taught in North America since the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredited the first Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (B.F.A.). The course began with support from the School of Design and Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin. In this design dialogue, educators across North America present stories of transformation. This discussion reflects on how the identities between educators and students enhance learning.

What Harm Could it Do? Investigating Harm By Design

From SDCT: Libby Riddel, M.F.A. Design '23

From the products we use every day to the systems that govern our lives, design plays a powerful role in shaping our world. But too often, design is used to reinforce harmful biases, perpetuate inequality, and even endanger lives. Harm by Design is a project and workshop dedicated to exploring the ways in which design can do harm. It’s primary focus is to help designers acknowledge, reflect on, and reduce unintended harms.

AI and the Evolution of Identity, Culture, and Intelligence

From SDCT: Vic Rodriguez Tang, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design

We are FAKE ID Collective, an intersection of three designers' practices as they examine culture, identity, and the future of humanity. In our session, we hope to create a space to explore, process, and discuss the complexity of AI and where this is all going. We believe our responsibility as creatives is to examine our environment, question accepted norms, and seek better ways to navigate the future. Together, we offer diverse perspectives based on our research, experiences, and speculations on how technology will shape the future of creative industries... and everything else.

Color Me Pink! Or Don't?: How Gender Biases Influence Design

From SDCT: Vic Rodriguez Tang, Assistant Professor of Practice in Design & Past Design Students

In this panel, Professor Vic Rodriguez Tang and students from their Gender Biases in Graphic Design class offered at The University of Texas will engage in conversation to share their learning experiences from this class. Professor Vic Rodriguez Tang has offered this class as an elective for the last two years to help design students understand that the choices we make as designers, especially in the design of products, ad campaigns, and other artifacts that the masses consume, have a crucial effect on how our society’s systems work.

Visualizing the Visceral

From SDCT: Yuliya Lanina, Assistant Professor of Practice in Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Technology gives us powerful new tools for enhancing our experience. It also distracts us and drives us apart. In our session, we will discuss how and why it is important for visual and sound artists, composers, and performers to take charge in creating technologically driven audio-visual immersive experiences that recapture art as a transformative experience that can bring people together. We will discuss ways to make these experiences meaningful, complex, and multidimensional. We will also examine creative strategies for the artist as a performer interacting with technology.

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