Power of Design at Appy State

Yesterday I spent the day in Boone, North Carolina at Appalachian State University. Boone is about 50 miles from where I grew up so I jumped at the chance to inspire students in my old neighborhood. I was invited by Associate Professor of Interior Design (and fellow Elizabethton High School alumni), Tim Dolan, on behalf of the Design Council, an inter-college faculty group organized to promote multidisciplinary design, for their third annual Power of Design symposium. One cool thing Tim and I learned from one another yesterday was that we were both separately inspired to study design by our drafting teacher, Mr. Fink!

I led an afternoon workshop with about 140 students to design a campus that relied exclusively on human-powered transportation. Students from the Interior Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design and Fine Arts programs got a crash course in Design Thinking and a basic IDEO design process then went to work. The photos below showcase the exciting energy from the afternoon and the great enthusiasm these young designers have to change their environment — from prototyping means to harvest kinetic energy, to making the campus more pedestrian and bike friendly, to outfitting people with better climate-neutralizing gear.

After a quick dinner with ASU faculty I presented a lecture called "Big D, Little D" which shared my own professional evolution from discipline-based design to inter-disciplinary design thinking using Tricycle and IDEO projects as case studies. Thank you to the 300 of you that showed up despite the halo effect of 24-hour rain from Ida!