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11 January 2012: Group: "Welcome back!" 

Brief introduction and a little get-to-know-each-other activity.

18 January 2012: Adam Skaates [Business Lead, IDEO's Toy Lab] Designing Interactions for Kids - Lessons from Toy Invention and App development

IDEO's Toy Lab has been inventing Toys and Games for almost 20 years, bringing over 100 new toy and game products to market. In 2009 we turned our attention to apps - creating some of the most beloved iPhone apps for kids including Balloonimals and Elmo's Monster Maker. Come hear some "war stories" about the trials, tribulations, and learnings from 11 years spent designing experiences for kids (and kids at heart).

25 January 2012: Ade Mabogunje [Senior Research Scientist, CDR] Models of Designing: The Trivium and Quadrivium of the Science of Capital Formation

"… the proper study of mankind is the science of design, not only as the professional component of a technical education but as a core discipline for every liberally educated man." Herbert Simon, 1969

In ancient times, the trivium (latin for three ways) consisted of three subjects – grammar (the mechanics of language), logic (the mechanics of thinking), and rhetoric (the art of instruction and persuasion). It was preparatory for the study of the quadrivium which consisted of four subjects – arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. The two in combination formed the core discipline of every liberally educated man.

Is there a core to designing? Or rather, do we need a core? In this talk I will begin by re-examining the excerpt from Herbert Simon in light of our work on the design of entrepreneurial ventures in India and Nigeria. If there is a core to designing, we would expect a very distinct similarities between frameworks and practices in the design of products and in the design of ventures.

Next I will present a model of the relationship between designing and capital formation. This will show in effect that a high rate of capital formation is the outcome of the interaction between a small number of distinct design practices. Using this model we will explore candidate subjects for the core of designing and hence for the science of capital formation.

Please come prepared with your candidate subjects and arguments for their inclusion in the list.

1 February 2012: Wim Poelman [Professor of Product Realization, Univ. of Twente (NL)] Technology Diffusion in Design, Dave Franchino [President, Design Concepts] Design Thinking and Design Education

Wim Poelman will talk about technology diffusion in design:

Design is underestimated as a means to make technology contribute to human life.

The designer can be regarded as an intermediary between technology and human value, and the design process can be regarded as an association process between technology on the supply side and humanity on the demand side. This frame of thinking about design makes us aware of the complexity of the design process and the responsibility of designers.

Usually the design process is regarded as being carried out in the framework of an organization. However, it makes sense not to talk about an organization, but rather about an organism. This becomes clear when we introduce the metaphor of metabolism to the process of design. Design can be regarded as the metabolism of information and knowledge. Using this metaphor design becomes a direct part of the business process in general. It links design thinking directly to business.

Dave Franchino will talk about his latest design-related observations:

- A taxonomy of design and its application in design education.
- An orbital representation of design thinking
- Mind mapping linkages in design education for communication

Wim Poelman
Download : Presentation (PPT/PDF) 

Dave Franchino

Download: Presentation (PPT/PDF)

8 February 2012: Lora Oehlberg [PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley] Understanding Information Sharing Behavior and Tool Use in Collaborative Design Teams  

Companies are turning to innovation practice in order to address complex, socio-technical problems. These design problems require multidisciplinary teams, and a human-centered design approach. These teams must simultaneously consider cutting-edge technologies and manufacturing processes, social and environmental impact, market demand, and cultural values. To do this, engineering design teams gather and generate massive quantities of information, including contextual observations, stakeholder interviews, research on competing products and applicable technologies, and new design ideas. Teams generate design information both individually and collaboratively; however they often struggle to synthesize heterogeneous design information into a shared understanding of the problem or their solution. I focus on understanding how designers create, communicate, and collaborate, and developing tools to help them design. My research focuses on two primary research questions: How do engineering design teams currently use technology to form a shared understanding during face-to-face meetings? How might future collaborative tools enable engineering teams to build a shared understanding, and act upon it?

In this practice job talk, I will present selections from my dissertation research that explore how individual information tools are used to support collaborative design processes. I will present a series of observational research, including surveys and interviews of individual designers, and observations of face-to-face team meetings during user research and brainstorming tasks. I will also introduce, Dazzle, an design collaboration tool for face-to-face teams that I developed. Findings from my evaluation of Dazzle not only reveal insights into how and why individuals share information during early-stage design, but also inform the development of future collaborative design information tools.

15 February 2012: Takao Kawata [Professor, Doshisha Women's College, Japan] Designing Human Resource Development Schemes for this "Chaotic Era" 

We have been researching self-motivated high performers’ behavior patterns and trying to design education schemes for the Japanese society. We carried out a large scale research project for a six-year period to unveil tacit knowledge and abilities of high performers. The data was gathered in Japan. We are in the process of building an education scheme. Our research has new discoveries and we have established a foundation for educating autonomous and creative learners. These discoveries are being gradually recognized and our approach applied into education. The Government has shown great interest in adopting some of our research results. We are still facing new challenges for implementing our knowledge into education. The rapidly changing “Chaotic Era” society is an obstacle to our project. In the talk session, we will explain our research results and share the difficulties we are now facing.

22 February 2012: Guy Kawasaki [Co-founder of, former Apple Chief Evangelist] What I Learned from Steve Jobs 

Many people have explained what one can learn from Steve Jobs. But few, if any, of these people have been inside the tent and experienced first hand what it was like to work with him. I don’t want any lessons to be lost or forgotten, so here is my list of the top twelve lessons that I learned from Steve Jobs.

  • Experts are clueless.
  • Customers cannot tell you what they need.
  • Jump to the next curve.
  • The biggest challenges beget best work.
  • Design counts.
  • You can’t go wrong with big graphics and big fonts.
  • Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
  • “Value” is different from “price.”
  • A players hire A+ players.
  • Real CEOs demo.
  • Real CEOs ship.
  • Marketing boils down to providing unique value.
  • Bonus: Some things need to be believed to be seen. 

Download : Presentation (PPT/PDF)

29 February 2012: Shashikant Khandelwal [co-founder of TheFind]  Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the US and India

Shashi will talk about the early days of his entrepreneurial journey out of Stanford grad school. He will then follow it up with 2 stories of very different products that he designed and the challenges that he faced. The first story is about how a web company transformed itself and brought to market an award winning product after tablets (ipads) took over the world. The second story, very different from the first, is about how a team of system architects evaluated and designed a solution for a geographical distributed university in India to enable effective collaboration amongst the students and faculty. This is the largest project of its kind in India. Both of these stories explore issues of various aspects of product & system design.

Download : Presentation (PPT/PDF)

7 March 2012: Phaedon Sinis [Computer Science Student, Stanford] An introduction to art music

Phaedon studied economics and mathematics at Dartmouth College. Throughout his early twenties, while working in finance in New York City, he continued his musical training, developing an intense interest in the folk music of the eastern Mediterranean. After experimenting with a variety of styles and instruments, he now devotes his energy to kemence and kanun. He has developed a solid foundation in Ottoman modal theory (makam) and performance practice.

Phaedon will be talking to us about art music, which often acts as a bridge between art and science, with a highly developed music theory complementing expressive techniques in performance practice. In his demonstration, Phaedon will examine modal music from both perspectives by focusing on the art music from the Ottoman empire. Phaedon will present live musical examples, selected from the urban tavern music of 19th and 20th century Istanbul.


14 March 2012: Peter Norvig [Director of Research, Google] Designing an intimate college class for 100,000 students 

There has been a new wave of online college classes from Stanford and other top Universities. In this "fireside chat," Peter Norvig describes the design the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course that he and Sebastian Thrun taught to 200 Stanford students and 100,000 online students.

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