It's no secret that Core77 throws the best design party of the year. For over 20 years, Core77 has been serving the design community online and our annual Core77 conference is an opportunity to bring the pages of Core77 to life through focused programming and a dialogue about the most urgent issues facing design practitioners Here/Now.
The 2016 Core77 Conference on design-led co-creation focused on three main themes—storytelling, human-centered design in the age of technology and lessons from startup culture—to explore the unique ways that designers are positioned to lead interdisciplinary teams to success. Even if you weren't able to attend this year's event, we've rounded up some key takeaways from this year's roster of speakers for your pleasure.
WORK WITH PURPOSE
"Pursue something so important that even if you fail the world is better off with you having tried." - Dana Cho, Managing Director, IDEO
Yoko Sen's "Sound Will" seeks to neutralize the aggressive sounds of hospital settings.
There is such a thing as a good death. The designers at IDEO recently embarked on an exploratory project to reimagine the end of life experience through their online, collaborative platform OpenIDEO. Dana Cho's talk reminded us that no matter what the challenge might be, encouragement and wisdom can come from unlikely places and that the design process itself can be as transformative as the final product. Read more about Designing for Death in a conversation between Dana Cho and Dr. BJ Miller.
"Some free advice: design and build products that matter." - Shana Dressler, Executive Director, 30 Weeks
The road of entrepreneurship is long and arduous but designers might be uniquely positioned to not only survive the journey but flourish post-launch. The 30 Weeks program was founded to incubate designers as they move from idea to launch and within just two years, 54 designers from 22 countries have received over $4 million in investment. Shana Dressler's advice to design and build products that matter is sage advice for not only potential founders but for all designers. Read more about 30 Weeks in this case study with one of the program participants.
BUILD PLATFORMS NOT PRODUCTS
"Agile Product Development means designing a product as a service." - Paul Sohi, Product Designer, Autodesk
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As a product designer for a company that makes tools for designers, Paul Sohi is privy to a lot of interesting insights on the ways that designers are working now and more importantly, a person who actually shapes the ways that designers might work in the future. With his focus on digital fabrication and the ways that it is enabling new ways of making, Sohi is an evangelist for agile, circular, product development to create products as a service. This approach, Sohi argues, increases the lifetime value of that product.
"Be designers of mass communication, rather than designers of mass production." - SWINE
The design and research practice of SWINE, a London-based collaboration between architect Azusa Murakami and artist Alexander Groves, highlights the ways that design can expand beyond the traditional boundaries of product. Their recent work is as much about creating fictional new worlds through design films as it is about materializing objects from that world to create new narratives and communicate new ways of working. Read more about Studio SWINE's process here.
"Not creating an artifact or solution but a platform from which solutions can emerge." - Jamer Hunt, Associate Professor, Parsons School of Design
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In his opening keynote, Jamer Hunt proposed a new perspective on a systems-based approach to social innovation by questioning the efficacy of current top-down or bottom-up models. Noting that systems at different scales operate in unfamiliar and unpredictable ways, Hunt argued for designers to focus on creating open platforms that can catalyze collaboration from diverse stakeholders.
TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
"Human centered design is not enough. We need inclusivity and equality of ideation and activation." - Antionette Carroll, Founder, Creative Reaction Lab
Similarly, design activist Antoinette D. Carroll proposed a new rubric for measuring success and impact, an approach she calls "The Table"—identifying the diverse stakeholders needed to create the most impactful, effective approach to some of the most challenging and layered social problems facing our communities today. Carroll's Table includes:
+ Social and Civic Sector - Macro issue experts + Business Sector - Experts at Scaling + Designers - Experts at Problem Solving + Community Members - Living Experts
Each of the four sectors represents a critical part of the equation needed to propose and enact solutions for social impact.
"We need to allow people to share their emotions through the things they have created. Co-creation is about enabling people to achieve greater than they could do alone." - Kudo Tsunoda, Vice President, Microsoft
Sharing his team's approach to design research, Kudo Tsunoda took inspiration from actor Nic Cage and employed the "Method Acting" approach, taking his team to a boxing gym to prepare to design a boxing game and to a ski slope for a ski experience. This approach enabled designers to connect with the human experience, something that Tsunoda identified as powerful because of the way that experiences connect people to one another.
"Hybridization of different methods and solutions is the core to designing for refugees." - Amro Sallam, Executive Director, Architects for Society
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And with these thoughts, Sallam underscored the importance of designing for those who need it most—displaced peoples, many who are fleeing terrifying circumstances both environmental and political. Using the lessons learned from designing the rapidly deployable, self-constructed HEX house for refugees, the collective of architects that form Architects for Society proposed new housing solutions for low-income families in urban environments.
Even if you missed out on this year's fantastic conference, no worries! We'll see you next year in Chicago!!
SAVE THE DATE! The next Core77 Conference will take place in Chicago, October 2017!