Sustainable Solutions: A new approach to design in systems

On May 24th and 25th IIT Institute of Design hosted a new platform called Design Insterections focused on advancing the field of design. The event had 300+ participants exploring the intersections of Design + Data + Behavior. The aim was to discuss emerging data-driven futures in domains such as health care, financial services, and public policy, and to better enable designers to wrestle with them. Discussions and activities were structured by ID faculty and expert practitioners in the field. Contributors were invited to present real-world contexts where data and behavior change is already colliding, as well as new tools and methodologies to evolve designers individual and collective points of view about how to navigate these futures.

I was invited by the IIT-Institute of Design to lead one of the Workshops during the Design Intersections.  The event offered five workshops, all of them centered around emerging and relevant practices of design,  including new approaches and methods to apply to participant’s own work. As such, they were framed as topical, half-day continuing education.

About the Sustainable Solutions Workshop

As designers assume leadership in large organizations and public institutions, they are being challenged with complex systemic issues that require new approaches to problem definition, as well as to solution finding. In this workshop we will present a unique playbook utilizing concepts from social science, environmental management, and design as “innovation lenses” to approach complex systems challenges, such as urban mobility, considering the multiple levels (macro, meso, micro) in which systems as designed. Through the application of tools and frameworks from the playbook, participants will learn about the ethnography of infrastructures and explore opportunities for innovation based on sustainable principles, and leave with a version of the playbook in order to apply this design-centric, sustainability-embedded approach to complex systems of interactions in their own work settings.

Leave a Reply