. . . field reports from a creative catalyst in the Pacific NW

KAOSPilots touch down in Seattle

IMG_5990Fisher Qua and I are currently co-teaching a Senior Design Studio: Transition Design Seminar at Cornish. It is an emerging area of design research/practice and study that was developed at School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. Design Faculty leaders Terry Irwin, Cameron Tonkinwise and Gideon Kossoff integrated their research into curricula in 2014 and have created an open education platform, inviting other educators, researchers and practitioners from related fields to co-evolve this curricula and connect it to global tranistion initiatives. Design Chair Jeff Brice introduced the idea of a teaching Transition Design class. We are both CMU alums, so it was even more intriguing of an idea, we couldn’t resist!

So…Jeff, Fisher and I worked to put together this innovative pilot offering for the Senior design students that accompanies the development of their final BFA project. This course aims to introduce and familiarize senior design students with the concept of ‘transition’ and ‘transition theory,’ now found within many fields. We are exploring the key role designers can play in systems-level, societal transition initiatives aimed at positive social change and sustainable futures.

This past week, the KAOSPILOTS touched down in Seattle. Christer Windelov-Lidzelius (CEO/Principal) and Pete Sims (Leadership Educator) are in town from Denmark for some cross industry engagement at the Regenerative Business Summit , led by Carol Sanford, author of The Responsible Business and The Responsible Entrepreneur.

Kaospilot, if you’re not already familiar, has come to be knows as the ‘alternative business school’…a hybrid business and design school, a multi-sided education in leadership and entrepreneurship. They’re doing amazing things…all over the world and have a very holistic and interdisciplinary approach to leadership, design education, social entrepreneurship and change-making.

During their visit to our senior studio, Christer and Pete talked about ‘designing for emergence’…about the realms of design such as process design, service design, design for social innovation, experience design…the new realms of practice and accepted methodologies they are working to evolve. They also emphasized the importance of story, ritual and meaning in creating meaningful change and inspired our students to think about they ways they can begin to connect their work to the things that matter in the world. Thank You, KAOSPILOTS!

This week in class, we’ll be looking at wicked problems (big challenges) in ecological transitions…and some campaign case studies: Future of Fish, Smart Catch (Vulcan) and(Paul G. Allen/James Beard Foundation’s Chef Action Network) and A Strawless Ocean – Stop Sucking  (Lonely Whale Foundation)  initiatives.

#transitiondesign #designleadership #designforsocialchange #designthinking #designforsocialinnovation #liberatingstructures #cornishdesign #carnegiemellonuniversityschoolofdesign #wickedproblems #kaospilot


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