The UT Tower features a video game projection
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SDCT projects video game on UT Tower, looks towards future of immersive experiences on campus

The Daily Texan

several piles of many colorful pipe cleaners, all connected together during a design thinking workshop facilitated by Cassidy C Browning

Design Thinking’s Social Justice Genealogies & Practices

November 18, 2020

Design Thinking is a vital tool for the wicked problem of social justice, as its human-centered methodologies are diversity-, equity-, and inclusion-centered. However, the history of Design Thinking often spotlights the work of a few (white and male) writers, crafting a homogenous and linear creation story. As a way to de-center whiteness and craft a fuller, deeper understanding of Design Thinking’s epistemologies, its tenets, and its potential, Cassidy C Browning weaves strands of practices and theories from women of color, feminist thought, queer people of color, Hip Hop, and Jazz. In order to maximize the liberatory potential of Design Thinking, this article is grounded in the current U.S. moment, identifies specific practices to employ, and questions who is considered a designer, what counts as design, and what histories we choose.

still image of VR Futures Project created by Planet Texas 2050. a map of Texas displays population data in the form of a 3D bar graph across the state

The Transformative Power of Games

November 16, 2020

Games have an unusual power as an interactive medium. They say a picture is worth a thousand words — how many more might it be worth when you can interact with, manipulate, and get feedback from the image you see? Playing a game is like having a conversation; you put a bit of yourself in, and you get something new and unique in return. This article will look at examples of how games can impact people on an individual and societal level and how a well-designed gaming experience can bring about positive change in our lives. From bringing families and friends closer together and connecting strangers across the globe to making science more accessible and innovating how we teach and learn, games have an incredible potential to change the human experience.

Photos of civilians in hazmat suits and masks. a shield overlaid to the left contains "Citizen-Centric Digital City" and a heart. overlaid text to the left reads "Data Informed Citizen-Centric Design"

The Power of Data and Design to Create Citizen-Centric Cities

November 15, 2020

Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught us off-guard, it did not have to be that way. We have access to the two most powerful tools available to us today: data and accessibility. Yet governments still struggled to identify and reach out to the high-risk population. Health records of individuals are available across hospitals, but government bodies can’t access them due to concerns around privacy and misuse. Design and technology can play an important role in filling in the gaps and converting available data into consumable and actionable insights to lessen the impact.

Logo for DIVR Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Reality

Proactive Approach to Diversity and Inclusion

November 15, 2020

Can virtual reality be the future of diversity and inclusion training? With the power to transport users, VR has the potential to increase a narrative’s persuasiveness. Immersive media can replicate difficult scenarios in which participants may practice skills acquired in training. Three professors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are using VR capabilities to pioneer Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Reality (DIVR), a measurable, accessible, and sustainable VR-based diversity and inclusion training program.

a young woman studying to be a doctor in a shed made of tarps with a dirt floor. It has been raining, so she is surrounded by mud

Helping the Next Billion Users Beat the Pandemic

November 14, 2020

With the pandemic ravaging many emerging economies, the need for physical distancing is becoming ever important. Billions need to be digitally equipped to ensure they are not socially distanced and have access to vital information and basic needs. Even though smartphones are becoming cheaper along with data plans, not all citizens in countries like India are online or even have a smartphone. There is a huge digital divide between the next billion users, who are expected to rush online to avoid being left out during the pandemic. This article looks at designing for the next billion users and the challenges around designing for them.

screenshot of Zoom call between SDCTx instructors and Waco ISD teachers and leadership using design thinking to reimagine virtual advising

An Evidence-Based Design Thinking Pedagogy

November 14, 2020

How might we leverage self-efficacy to increase adoption and scalability of design thinking for social change? One studio-based initiative helped build design thinking self-efficacy among non-designers in order to prepare them to scale social change within one Texas school district. This article outlines how a team of design thinking educators carefully crafted the studio to feed four established sources of self-efficacy: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and emotional physiological states. Such efforts increase adoption and scalability of design thinking for social change.

2D illustration of people meeting via Zoom on a desktop computer. a plant sits to the left and a mug of steaming coffee to the right

Designing at a Distance: Medical Students Lead Interprofessional Teams to Prototype in a Pandemic

November 13, 2020

While COVID-19 disrupted the practice of medicine across the globe, pre-clinical medical students, not yet trained to volunteer on the front lines, searched for ways to channel their unique expertise to serve communities outside of the hospital. This article details how four Dell Medical students led interprofessional teams of undergraduate students in prototyping biomedical devices, including a strength assessment tool for use in telehealth appointments and a low-cost pneumatic ventilator for emergency situations. It also discusses the challenges and solutions the students found while navigating the design process virtually.

Dr. Thomas Ungar and crew on the set of Think You Can Shrink?

Psychiatry and Stigma: How one Canadian psychiatrist uses design thinking to reimagine mental health care and combat taboo

November 12, 2020

Dr. Thomas Ungar is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the psychiatrist-in-chief at St. Michael’s Hospital, part of Unity Health Toronto. In this interview, Journal editor Nada Dorman talks with Dr. Ungar about prostates, the pandemic and how design can change the future of mental health.

graphic of a circle formed by colorful stick figures, each grabbing onto the next one's feet, their bodies are colorful amorphous rings.

With, Not For: What Designers can Learn from Social Workers when Engaging with Complex Social Systems

November 11, 2020

Crisis situations spotlight system failures and require us to rapidly innovate and adapt in response. When it comes to health, COVID-19 has emphasized broader issues in the health system and has shown how focusing on health care alone is not enough. Holistic and whole-person considerations—spanning brain health, food access, and economic security, etc.—are essential to community health. Based on work done at the Design Institute for Health during COVID-19, a team of health designers shares lessons they learned from adapting community services to the crisis and how designers might learn from the discipline of social work to champion solutions that broaden equity and access.

Open laptop displaying product sketches alongside the word Product. Designers are working together in the background behind the laptop

Democratizing Product Creation to Boost Borderless Innovation

November 10, 2020

The core of the Gembah mission is to demystify and democratize the product creation process. They believe product innovation shouldn't exist only in stuffy boardrooms or behind the closed doors of heavily capitalized companies. Their process allows bootstrapping entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to innovate alongside Gembah's team of deeply experienced product designers, researchers, and manufacturing experts to bring their product vision to life. The beautiful thing about e-commerce and product development is its borderless nature. Gembah's workflows leverage resources internationally, including boots-on-the-ground experts worldwide, to help people turn concepts into a workable, market-ready product.