On March 26th, 2011, Austin Center for Design—along with frog design and Thinktiv—hosted their second annual Design For Impact Bootcamp. 44 attendees participated in this day-long event, intended to introduce participants to the idea of designing for large-scale social change; attendees traveled from as far as Monterey, New York and Vancouver to participate. This international cohort then learned how to purposefully apply the design process to issues of poverty, access to clean drinking water, equality of education and other large problems, with an outcome of products, services and systems that are intended to better the human experience. During the bootcamp, participants learned a thoughtful methodology for design that focuses on building empathy through immersive research, performing abductive reasoning through a data to insight to theme synthesis process and creating rapid prototypes through sketching and storyboarding.
The group specifically focused on the broad topic of Nutrition, narrowing to identify subtopics of food preparation, healthy lifestyle, exercise and fitness, food sales and food sourcing. Participants conducted immersive contextual research in the city of Austin, at local restaurants, farmers markets and grocery stores. They learned to translate the research data rapidly into observations, insights and themes, and then, through a process of ideation and sketching, they developed digital solutions to support innovative new design ideas.
The bootcamp included instruction from well-known designers and design researchers in the Austin area:
+ Jon Kolko is the Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv, a venture accelerator in Austin, Texas. Jon is also the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design, an educational institution teaching interaction design and social entrepreneurship.
+ Jon Freach is a Principal Designer at frog design, and a faculty member at Austin Center for Design. Jon has a 14-year background in the areas of user experience research and interaction design and has served in a broad range of roles, from designer to strategic planner and manager of best practices.
+ Justin Petro is the CEO of Thinktiv in Austin, Texas, and a faculty member at Austin Center for Design.
+ Lauren Serota is an interaction designer and design researcher at frog design.
Download materials from the Bootcamp presentations including Kolko's "Designing for Impact" and "Rapid Ideation and Forced Provocation," Petro's "Interface Visualization and Design," and Serota's "Process of Seeing: Guerilla Ethnography," at the AC4D website here!