1. April 18, 2014

    We had a great #dchat this week with Justin Ferrell, director of the fellows program here at the d.school. Applications opened on Tuesday, and he fielded questions online. We decided to place these in a separate post for easier reference. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!

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  2. April 18, 2014
    (Photograph provided by Fred Leichter)

    (Photograph provided by Fred Leichter)

    “Yes, and” generates while “no, but” stifles. This is a fundamental principle of improv and of design thinking here at the d.school. But it raises a question: Does critique have a role in design thinking?

    I say, “yes … and.”

    In my time as a fellow, I’ve learned critique has a unique and valuable role in design-thinking work. But sometimes — especially when negatively delivered — it can be hard to accept and process. To that end, I have put together some processes of my own to make seeking, accepting and processing critique a bit easier.

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  3. April 17, 2014

    What do you do when freedom becomes a constraint?

    The fellows convened at the d.school for another Wednesday studio session this week. The scheduled speaker was unable to attend. This means, for the second week in a row, the cohort was faced with the challenge of making meaning of their time together. A mild form of chaos ensued.

    David Janka leads a workshop of 60 participants at the SXSW Interactive conference. (Emi Kolawole)

    David Janka leads a workshop of 60 participants at the SXSW Interactive conference. (Emi Kolawole)

    They attempted to vote on how to use their time and what the next steps should be for subsequent meetings. One fellow left to pursue heads-down work, another fellow bowed out for another, previously-planned engagement. Two of the fellows left for a moment to acclimate their dogs to one another. The group, lacking top-down structure, quickly became amorphous. But those fellows prepared for and geared towards leveraging one another’s time — five in total — stayed and began to design an engagement all their own. Continue Reading

  4. April 16, 2014

    This manifesto has been brewing for the past year, since I chose to go down the path of mixing law and design. There are two problems that clearly interrelate: lawyers who are underemployed and unhappy in their day-to-day work, and non-lawyers who do not get quality help to solve their legal problems. But the missing point in most discussions of these legal services crises is the “how” — how do we scope and solve these problems? That’s where design holds so much potential, and why I’m deploying design methods to craft new solutions.
    Legal Design Manifesto - by Margaret Hagan 1 Continue Reading

  5. April 14, 2014
    (Photos by Emi Kolawole)

    (Photos by Emi Kolawole)

    We’re now accepting applications for the d.school fellowship program for the academic year 2014-15. This year, we are looking for restless experts in the fields of K12 education and health care. Ideal candidates will be mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs with the potential to drive systems-level change. If you’re dedicated to improving either of these areas, read on!

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  6. April 14, 2014

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    The d.school fellowship applications are now open. If you have questions about the program and what the team at the d.school is looking for, you’ll want to join us on Twitter from 6-7pm PT on Tuesday, April 15. Justin Ferrell, the d.school’s director of fellowships, will be your host for #dchat to discuss the application process. You can follow him on Twitter at @jferrell03.  In the meantime, be sure to send in your questions using the #dchat hashtag.

  7. April 11, 2014
    (Graphic by Ben Wilkoff)

    (Graphic by Ben Wilkoff)

    The idea of #2minPD started as a pipedream. Now, it’s a movement. Whether it lives is up to you.

    I published a blog post here on the whiteboard a few days ago in which I shared a new concept I had developed for teacher professional development (PD) called “two-minute PD”. A two-minute PD is a video created by educators for educators. Each video features an exciting teaching strategy, classroom activity or teaching concept worth sharing.

    My goal was to transform what is considered a time-consuming yet necessary practice into something that is a welcome part of a teacher’s everyday life. Shortly after I published my blog post, my #2minPD idea acquired some early adopters. Now, it’s quickly forming into a movement, with people contributing from around the world.
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  8. April 11, 2014
    Fellows gather for an impromptu storytelling studio on April 2. (Emi Kolawole)

    Fellows gather for an impromptu storytelling studio on April 2. (Emi Kolawole)

    It’s a common nightmare. You stand in front of a class or you take an exam — and you draw a blank. You haven’t studied; you never learned the lines. Your mind is a tabula rasa of the first order, and you’re stuck. You break into a cold sweat before you rattle yourself back to consciousness.

    It wasn’t real, you tell yourself in the dead of night. It’s okay. Eventually, you fall back asleep.

    But sometimes this moment slips out of your nightmares into reality. You’re flying by the seat of your pants. Now, mix in design work, and you’re suddenly designing by the seat of your pants. So, how do you do it?

    Let me tell you a story. Continue Reading

  9. April 8, 2014
    (Photo via Flickr user Rick Ligthelm)

    (Photo via Flickr user Rick Ligthelm)

    A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) finds that severe childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States. The study may come as a surprise to some, given an earlier report from the Centers for Disease Control that showed obesity rates falling among children between ages 2 and 5.

    So, in light of that, here’s the topic of this week’s #dchat: How might we design for better nutrition? 

    What methods have you seen work? Have you applied design thinking to your own nutritional regimen? What are potential entry points you see for design thinking? This is an opportunity to think more broadly about the role of design in nutrition, share resources, routines, recipes, challenges, and system improvements with an eye towards design thinking.

    Our special guest this week is Matt Rothe (@mattrothe). Matt is an alum of the d.school fellows program (2012-2013) and currently serves as a lecturer at the d.school. He is also a co-founder of the FEED Collaborative, which combines social entrepreneurship, design thinking and experiential education to radically design local food systems. Matt is also a born farmer, and a graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to the d.school, he was the Sustainable Food Program Manager for Stanford Dining. He spends his free time tending to his garden and chickens at the Stanford Community Farm.

    We’ll convene on Twitter around #dchat at 6pm and go until 7pm, per our usual schedule. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Update: And here’s our recap for this week!

  10. April 7, 2014
    Edu fellows Kim Jacobson (foreground, right) and Melissa Pelochino (background, right) speak with d.school Curriculum and Experience Lead Thomas Both. (Emi Kolawole)

    Edu fellows Kim Jacobson (foreground, right) and Melissa Pelochino (background, right) speak with d.school Curriculum and Experience Lead Thomas Both during the height of their prototyping work this winter. (Emi Kolawole)

    We hosted our inaugural cohort of four edu fellows at the d.school this year, and as the Director of our K12 Lab Network I’ve had the great privilege of working directly with all of them – Guido, Kim, Matt, and Melissa. This past quarter I’ve been particularly excited to be a part of their journey deep into the heart of prototyping. Their experiences have reminded me of a few key aspects of the prototyping mindset and how it develops:
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