Posts Tagged ‘interaction design’

Teacher as Experience Designer

January 25th, 2011 by Katie Koch | 1 Comment | Filed in Design, Personal Stories

For my thesis I’m creating an interactive toolkit that helps teaching professionals build a reflective practice. My thesis is that if teachers are able to reflect upon their work, they’ll be more inspired to be creative. If we reframe the idea of teaching as a practical art, there is a lot of overlap with the practice of experience design.

In Ralph Caplan’s By Design, he states, “College professors plainly ought to be designers of situations, but they rarely are.” He continues:

Students are not the product. The only educational product schools can be reasonably charged with designing is the educational environment – not just the classrooms and dormitories and recreation centers that college presidents dedicate their energy to acquiring, but the situations in which students interact with each other and with faculty members. (Caplan, 148)

I believe this same concept should be applied to teachers at the high school level. They are charged with presenting a certain body of knowledge to their students, but the difference between a mediocre teacher and a great teacher is in the environment he or she creates for her students. If a teacher is a designer of a classroom experience, then why not engage that teacher in the habits of designers, including critique of her own work?

My thesis is coming along, with the final deadline in April some time. I’m conducting my first interaction prototype next week where I will gather content and feedback for my next steps. If you’d like to participate, please let me know!

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Project: Interaction Interviews Liz Danzico

July 13th, 2010 by Carmen Dukes | No Comments | Filed in Interviews, Videos

Last week, I had the pleasure to interview Liz Danzico, our chair of the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts. Liz and I talked about how designers can “teach” without being confined to the classroom, how designers and educators can work together, and her hope for design education in the future.

Project: Interaction Interviews Liz Danzico from Project: Interaction on Vimeo.

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Moments of Inspiration

June 22nd, 2010 by Carmen Dukes | No Comments | Filed in Inspirations

We are only a week or so into our official announcement of Project: Interaction, and across a variety of internet channels, we have received a lot of excitement about our initiative. It’s so awesome to have so many people we admire and respect as design practitioners express their support for our program. Of course, Katie and I have a lot of work to do, but it’s great to know that we are on the right path to fulfilling an unmet need in the design community and we are inspired to do so.

As some of our readers may know, Project: Interaction was inspired by Kim Goodwin and her call for designers to educate our future leaders. Upon closer reflection of my first year at SVA, I realized that Kim’s call to action was one of many moments of inspiration for our program. Robert Fabricant taught the importance of prototyping our ideas. Jill Nussbaum showed us the value of storytelling when presenting concepts. John Zapolski stressed the importance of research when developing any strategy. Paul Pangaro challenged us to think in systems. And Rob Faludi told us it was okay to fail. All of these moments and lessons are in some way are fabrics of our program.

My goal for the students that participate in this program is that they too find moments of inspiration throughout the lectures, guest speakers, classroom exercises, and most importantly, from other students. Whether that leads to pursuing a career in interaction design or changing an aspect of their community through design or another field. It will be humbling to know that to the students we teach, we were the inspiration for new ideas and new thinking.

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