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The Idea Lab: A Collaboration Preparing Students for the Future

The Idea Lab: A Collaboration Preparing Students for the Future

As humans, we tend to compartmentalize ourselves as being either logical or creative thinkers. Rarely do we realize that everything we contemplate and create is better when we are both. This unification of both solutions-oriented entrepreneurship and nonlinear design thinking is the foundation of a new UC San Diego student program called the Idea Lab.

The program is a part of UC San Diego’s commitment to being an innovation catalyst and to cultivating future leaders, according to Michèle Morris, Associate Director of The Design Lab. “The Idea Lab program focuses on preparing our students to step into the 21st-century job market with the mindset and skills needed to address today’s challenges with solutions that are not necessarily directed and linear,” she explains. “Being able to navigate ambiguity, engage strategically and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, and tactically operate in an inclusive, wholistic manner is no longer simply important, it is essential.”

The Idea Lab pilot program was launched in Fall 2020 and is itself a collaboration between two unique centers within UC San Diego’s innovation ecosystem: Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC)/The Basement—a student startup incubator that provides entrepreneurial and leadership programs; and The Design Lab—an interdisciplinary research and education community that prioritizes how humans are impacted by complex systems and technologies.
San Diego -- Tijuana

Can San Diego — Tijuana region be World Design Capital?

Read the San Diego Union Tribune article by columnist Diane Bell about the World Design Capital bid.

San Diego, together with Tijuana, has placed a bid to be designated the 2024 World Design Capital , a selection that will be finalized this October.

A San Diego nonprofit called the Design Forward Alliance was created with the help of numerous community and design groups to coordinate with Tijuana representatives and prepare the bid package.

Michèle Morris, associate director of the UCSD Design Lab and president of the Design Forward Alliance, is very optimistic about this region’s chances for success.

“We do feel confident that we will make the short list,” she says. Morris also is associate director of the Design Lab at UC San Diego, which helped launch the alliance in 2016 following an inaugural Design Forward Summit in downtown San Diego.

Win or lose, Morris notes that the bidding process has strengthened ties and fostered new creative ideas for our region.
Earth2 Project Challenges Vaccines

Earth2 Project Challenges Vaccines, 10 to 100, Ten Days to Vaccinate Everyone

"In collaboration with the University of New Mexico, the Earth2 project is helping to present a 10 day series of seminars on Vaccines and Vaccine Hesitancy, covering topics that range from vaccine-myths to Native American implications and special aspects having to do with other minority and LGBTQ communities, to hearing trusted voices." - David Brin, Author, Futurist, Public Speaker

"Solving the most complex societal programs involves a whole community approach. That's why I'm so excited about the Earth 2 Challenge to reach 100% vaccination which will make our society healthier and safer. But to succeed, we need everyone to participate." - Mai Nguyen, Design Lab Director, UC San Diego

Designing UC San Diego’s New Trolley Stop | Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Watch the 14-minute Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Over 250 UC San Diego students, neighbors, and future transit users gathered on April 6-7, 2019 for the first-ever Designathon: an intensive, immersive event where interdisciplinary teams design solutions for real-world challenges. This Designathon focused on the Pepper Canyon Station, which aspires to be an ecologically, socially, and technologically friendly mobility hub on the UCSD campus, set to open in 2020.

Executive Producer: Michele Morris
Producers & Directors: Stephanie Sherman, Ash Eliza Smith, Ian Strelsky
Camera Operators: Clint Evangelista, Qiyi Fan, Alice Medrano, Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Editors: Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Story Consultant: Griffin Middelson
Animators: Weilun Yao, Lilly Gee
Sound Designers: Steven Phung
Music Composers: Remy Rose, Riain Hager, Forrest Reid
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