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ABSTRACT

Christopher Vice
Design Leadership MFA
at Herron School of Art + Design, Indiana University

“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler, Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century

Christopher will present why and how faculty members at Herron have initiated a graduate design program focusing on cross-disciplinary approaches for design thinking and design leadership. He will examine explicit dimensions of design thinking and design processes as particular forms of leadership to be applied when solving problems in business, government and everyday civic life. Embracing Nigel Cross’ notion that “design ability is a fundamental form of human intelligence,” Herron’s curricula advance the application of design thinking into contexts that are infinitely scalable and transferable.

These issues are engaged with recognition that we learn and live in a world that is undergoing dramatic reconfiguration. Traditional and emerging forms of design education and practice will be evaluated for relevance in light of the following themes:

• the massive (and established) shift in the way that business processes are managed, having moved from linear hierarchical progression to collaborative parallel processing

• the collapse of the traditional silo organization of research disciplines in the arts and sciences and an embrace of team knowledge generation

• the emergence of ubiquitous computing and the democratization of the tools of design production

• the impending crisis in the economic and creative competitiveness of the U.S. as our system of primary, secondary and higher education schools move away from a focus on critical thinking in order to “teach to the test”

• the critical systems-level challenges that serve as obstacles to the global attainment of social justice and establishment of a enduring sustainability culture

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