Creative designers typically produce stuff - toasters, websites, airplanes, and cell phones - for mass production by large, for-profit corporations. These designers frequently bemoan what they observe to be a misappropriation of their talent - that their creative efforts are misguided, and the hard work and energy they are putting into product development is lacking integrity or honesty. Rarely does their work have a humanitarian element to it; the corporations that hire designers are fundamentally interested in appeasing their shareholders.
Designing for Impact is an overt redirection of these creative design efforts, in order to tackle the large-scale humanitarian problems that plague our country and our world. The design process is purposefully applied to issues of poverty, access to clean drinking water, equality of education, and other large problems, and the outcome is a combination of products, services, and systems that are intended to better the human experience.
After taking part in the boot camp participants will have:
- Acquired a high level process for approaching large-scale social problems, and understand the challenges associated with these types of problems
- Experienced the research, synthesis and ideation processes as related to design for impact
- Gained empathy with a target, at-risk population
- Acquired the introductory vocabulary to speak about strategic design work, in the context of designing for impact
This aggressively-paced boot camp is intended for designers, technologists, marketers, and other professionals who are interested in extending their skill set into the realm of social innovation and design for impact. All levels of design ability are welcome; the only pre-requisite is passion. There are limited participant seats, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Note: If you participated in a previous Design For Impact Bootcamp with us, you aren't eligble to participate again - sorry, and thanks for your interest!
For the full agenda of the bootcamp and more resources, please visit: http://www.austincenterfordesign.com/bootcamp
Austin Center for Design is committed to low-cost education. The cover charge of this bootcamp will be used to cover the travel cost of the facilitators.
To learn more about Austin Center for Design, please visit
Jon Kolko is the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design, a progressive educational institution teaching interaction design and social entrepreneurship. His work focuses on bringing the power of design to social enterprises, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and large-scale industry disruption. Jon has held positions of Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv, a venture accelerator in Austin, Texas, and both Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director roles at frog design, a global innovation firm. He was also a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in building both the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs. Jon has also held the role of Director for the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and Editor-in-Chief of interactions magazine, published by the ACM. He is the author of the book Thoughts on Interaction Design, published by Morgan Kaufmann, and Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis, published by Oxford University Press.