Socio-Technical Environments for Community-Driven Design

The practice of design has been shifting from an expert-led endeavor towards community-driven processes—such as co-design, value-sensitive design, citizen-led science, end-user programming, DIY making, community-based participatory research, and lead-user innovation— that seek to empower diverse stakeholders. This project seeks to create novel socio-technical environments that amplify communities’ ability to address their own challenges. Towards this goal, our group founded the Design for San Diego ( initiative, an innovation challenge structured around the human-centered design process that seeks to solve complex civic problems by engaging hundreds of young innovators, domain experts, and key decision makers in San Diego. With support from the UCSD Design Lab, the City of San Diego, the Port of San Diego, SANDAG, the National Science Foundation, the Design Forward Alliance, and SCALE SD, the D4SD initiative has been successful at promoting diversity and equitable solutions for problems related to mobility, public health, sustainability, and housing. Students interested in getting involved in this project may send an email introduction and resume to Steven Dow.