Why Design Intersections?

For many years, IIT Institute of Design hosted an annual Design Strategy Conference. This intersection of design and strategy not only built on ID’s history of bridging design and business, but also demonstrated more broadly that design increases its impact when it intersects with other disciplines.

Fast forward to 2018… the growing list of management consulting firms that have acquired design capabilities only solidifies the case that ID was on to something. But today, this underlying concept of “design and…” now extends beyond strategy to other adjacent fields, and informs how designers work with others to develop solutions.

We increasingly live in a world of intersections, from health care and financial services, to social media and communications, to civic and public policy… the list of disciplines that come to the table as design’s “+1” is only growing.

Well-designed, adaptive systems increasingly rely on thoughtful approaches to generating, collecting, and interrogating data. Similarly, an understanding of behavioral science can help designers accommodate the “irrationality” of human behavior when designing these systems. So this year, building on the intersectional approach of the Design Strategy Conference, Strategy passes the baton to Data and Behavioral Science.

As designers, how do we respond to recent breaches and misuse of personal social media data at Facebook? How do we interrogate how algorithms are developed, knowing that subjective bias has a way of creeping in? What does the emerging application of these fields in a systems context mean for the practice of design?

We welcome you to join us on May 24-25 in Chicago, as we wrestle with these questions, informed by the contributions of leading thinkers and doers across design and adjacent practices.