Skip to content
Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

Design & Innovation Building (DIB) Grand Opening

In commemoration of the Grand Opening of the new Design & Innovation Building, The Design Lab hosted a showcase of projects and activities on Thursday, November 18. UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students were invited to attend, along with special invitees from the San Diego community such as design practitioners, as well as industry and government partners. The Design & Innovation Building will allow The Design Lab to serve an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, staff, and community partners that are working to solve the most complex societal problems with design.

Images by Chelsea Maples Photography

In commemoration of the Grand Opening of the new Design & Innovation Building, The Design Lab hosted a showcase of projects and activities on Thursday, November 18. UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students were invited to attend, along with special invitees from the San Diego community such as design practitioners, as well as industry and government partners. The Design & Innovation Building will allow The Design Lab to serve an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, staff, and community partners that are working to solve the most complex societal problems with design.

Images by Chelsea Maples Photography

In commemoration of the Grand Opening of the new Design & Innovation Building, The Design Lab hosted a showcase of projects and activities on Thursday, November 18. UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students were invited to attend, along with special invitees from the San Diego community such as design practitioners, as well as industry and government partners. The Design & Innovation Building will allow The Design Lab to serve an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, staff, and community partners that are working to solve the most complex societal problems with design.

Images by Chelsea Maples Photography

Read Next

Design Lab & UCSD Spaces strive for Educational Equity Through Design

Who better to learn about good design than the people who will most benefit from…

Don Norman

Design a Better World, with Don Norman

UX Cake kicks the season off with a fascinating conversation about changing the world with design, with Don Norman.

"There are really creative people in all these communities. And there aren’t enough experts to go around anyway. What we want to do is go around the world and find these people and facilitate, help them, empower them, give them expert knowledge and allow them to decide how to apply that to their problems." - Don Norman

Nazima Ahmad is Putting People Over Profits by Connecting Art and Design at the Design Lab

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our communities are more important than ever. The pandemic has changed the ways in which we experience and perceive community—sometimes even causing us to feel that it has vanished. The past two years have been an uncertain time for those involved in the arts, with many creative professionals being impacted by dwindling audiences and interest. Nazima Ahmad, a Designer-in-Residence at The Design Lab, noticed the crumbling connection between artists and consumers and sought to find a way to mend it. Working with fellow designer Michelle Hoogenhout, the two were able to come up with City Canvas, a concept developed in collaboration with the Arts and Commission Department of the City of San Diego that won the 2020 SCALE San Diego Urban Innovation Challenge that works to make connecting with local artists easier for San Diego residents.

“Working with the city on that project was all-around trying to figure out how to promote the creative economy of San Diego,” says Ahmad of the goal of the project. Not only was the project a great success at Design Week, but it is also what led Ahmad to The Design Lab.

Derek Lomas and Philip Guo Recognized by Premier International HCI Conference

UC San Diego Design Lab members Derek Lomas and Philip Guo were recently recognized by…

Nazima Ahmad is Putting People Over Profits by Connecting Art and Design at the Design Lab

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our communities are more important than ever. The pandemic has changed the ways in which we experience and perceive community—sometimes even causing us to feel that it has vanished. The past two years have been an uncertain time for those involved in the arts, with many creative professionals being impacted by dwindling audiences and interest. Nazima Ahmad, a Designer-in-Residence at The Design Lab, noticed the crumbling connection between artists and consumers and sought to find a way to mend it. Working with fellow designer Michelle Hoogenhout, the two were able to come up with City Canvas, a concept developed in collaboration with the Arts and Commission Department of the City of San Diego that won the 2020 SCALE San Diego Urban Innovation Challenge that works to make connecting with local artists easier for San Diego residents.

“Working with the city on that project was all-around trying to figure out how to promote the creative economy of San Diego,” says Ahmad of the goal of the project. Not only was the project a great success at Design Week, but it is also what led Ahmad to The Design Lab.
Human-centered Design

Community-Based, Human-Centered Design

Don Norman, Design Lab Director & Eli Spencer, Design Lab Faculty

We propose a radical change in design from experts designing for people to people designing for themselves. In the traditional approach, experts study, design, and implement solutions for the people of the world. Instead, we propose that we leverage the creativity within the communities of the world to solve their own problems: This is community-driven design, taking full advantage of the fact that it is the people in communities who best understand their problems and the impediments and affordances that impede and support change. Experts become facilitators, by mentoring and providing tools, toolkits, workshops, and support.

The principles of human-centered design have proven to be effective and productive. However, its approach is generally used in situations where professionals determine the needs of the target populations and then develop products and procedures to address the needs. This is Top-Down design: starting with higher-level conceptualizations and then refining the ideas and concepts to specific instances of products or services. This works well for mass produced items which only allows limited specialization for individual needs and requirements.
Back To Top