The events of 2020 forced design educators to abruptly change, from the way we teach our classes, to the role we play in our students’ lives. The events also forced us to reckon with many problems that have existed in design education yet have gone largely overlooked, such as inequities in the student experience, access to tools and technology, access to support, and the impact on mental health and wellbeing. Looking through the lens of human-centered design, this talk will explore how design education and design practice must change to better support students and design teams as whole people.
Human-centered design meets people where they’re at—takes into consideration their pain points, their limitations, and their unique needs. It fosters agency and collaboration and employs empathy and reduced hierarchy to create positive outcomes for the user. So as design leaders, are we practicing what we preach? Or do we perpetuate a one-size-fits-all experience that centers dominant narratives and marginalizes others?