Austin Center for Design

Austin Center for Design
Academic Partner

Austin Center for Design exists to transform society through design and design education. This transformation occurs through the development of design knowledge directed towards all forms of social and humanitarian problems. The center explicitly tackles problems related to:

  • Homelessness and transient housing solutions
  • Healthcare access, affordability, and comprehension
  • Nutrition, personal wellness, and consumption
  • Education and job placement
  • Poverty
  • Sustainability and environmental impact

The Center offers an innovative curriculum that repositions creative design education in the context of designing for the public sector. Students learn the interdisciplinary skills of creative design thinking, as applied to solving complicated problems of society and culture.

These skills broadly include divergent thinking, ideation, visualization, synthesis, prototyping, and the managing of complexity and data organization. Students use these skills to develop systems, services, products, and new business models that address pressing social issues.

AC4D offers a one year program – held on site (on nights and weekends) in Austin, Texas – emphasizing creative problem solving related to human behavior, through the use of advanced technology and novel approaches to business strategy. The program is ideal for designers, artists, business professionals and technologists with 2-5 years experience doing professional work, or for more seasoned professionals looking to change the trajectory of their careers.

The curriculum balances a more traditional lecture-style with the creative learning-by-doing, experiential qualities of a design studio environment, and students rapidly acquire knowledge of the various discipline humanitarian issues while formulating advanced design knowledge related to synthesis, service and system design, and entrepreneurship.

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