Making, Selling, Buying, Using: Emerging
Issues in Product Design – a one-day symposium bringing
together faculty, researchers, practitioners and leaders for a lively
event devoted to product design. The day will feature fast-paced
presentations from a variety of perspectives, keynotes by Andrew
Blauvelt (Chief of Communications and Audience Engagement,
Walker Art Center), Maggie
Breslin (design researcher at Mayo Clinic’s SPARC Program)
Kudrowitz (incoming UMn product design faculty),
plus networking and discussion.
Speaker topics and bios follow...
On Relational Design |
This talk will look at how six themes—the
birth of the user, the democratization of design, the rise of open
systems, the preoccupation with context, the power of many, and the
rise of the social—conspire to create a paradigm shift in how designers
design today. Such designs explore the contingent situation, are
highly conditional, embrace open-ended processes, and seek relational
connections: all of which extend beyond the artifactual culture of
Andrew Blauvelt is Chief of Communications and
Audience Engagement at the Walker Art Center overseeing major institutional
initiatives in the departments of design, new media, education, and
marketing and public relations. He also serves as Curator of Architecture
and Design, organizing major exhibitions and lecture programs on
architectural, graphic, landscape and product design. A graduate
of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Blauvelt is the recipient of more than
100 design awards and has been exhibited and published in the U.S.,
Europe, and Asia. He writes about design and culture and is a contributing
writer for the blog DesignObserver.com.
The New Making | Maggie Breslin
Our societal notion of what makes someone a designer
is challenged when design expands its reach into non-traditional
fields like health care delivery. This talk will explore what it
means to create within this new context and will draw extensively
on 5 years of answering the oft-asked question, “so, what exactly
do you design?”
Breslin came to her career as a designer through a love for stories.
Her early work in film, television, motion graphics and animation
shaped her ideas about narrative, dialogue, audience and design.
A shift towards interactive media provided the opportunity to explore
new ways of storytelling, including strategic design for Sony Corp.
and Sony Pictures, game design for various companies and a stint
leading a product development team that was responsible for turning
elevator pitch ideas into functioning products. Breslin holds a Master
of Design (M.Des.) degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor
of Science in Mass Communications, Film and Television, from Miami
University, Oxford, Ohio.
The Humor of Innovation | Barry Kudrowitz
It is widely recognized that innovation
or creativity is the new competitive battleground for product development
firms. Thus it is of interest to study methods to improve a designer's
idea generation capabilities. We suggest that wit (spontaneous humor
production) is strongly related to creativity, as both involve making
non-obvious connections between seemingly unrelated things. In our
studies we found that improvisational comedians tend to come up with
more creative product ideas than professional product designers.
This talk will present some ways in which we can learn from improvisational
comedy and humor theory on how to be more innovative and prolific
Barry Kudrowitz recently received his Ph.D from
the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT studying humor, creativity
and idea generation. In January, he will be a full time faculty member
in the UMN College of Design developing the product design minor.
Barry co-designed a Nerf toy that is currently on the market, an
elevator simulator that is in operation at the International Spy
Museum in Washington DC, and a ketchup dispensing robot that was
featured on the Martha Stewart Show. Barry is the course instructor
and co-creator of Toy Product Design (http://web.mit.edu/2.00b/www),
a project-based class at MIT (and now UMN), where he uses play as
a means of getting students excited about engineering and design.
Barry has received several awards including the Goodwin Medal for
Conspicuously Effective Teaching (2009), the Carl G. Sontheimer Prize
for Creativity and Innovation in Design (2010) and was a Lemelson-MIT
Student Prize Finalist (2010). A portfolio of work can be found at: