We are in an age where the power to connect in new ways feels limitless. This presents an exciting and important opportunity to shape the future to serve, empower, and delight people and society.
The Interaction Design Program’s mission at CCA is to create a leading undergraduate educational experience to train future interaction designers with a bold and unique mix of skills that form the core skills that the most impactful, useful and in-demand. Our curriculum focuses on systemic and behavioral design with additional emphasis on the necessary visual and technology craft skills to communicate and demonstrate work. These are the skills that will help shape our future as people living with increasingly amazing and powerful technology. For more information on the program itself, please visit the webpage at cca.edu/interaction
In this talk I will discuss our new undergraduate program, how we developed it and how I believe the new curriculum will ultimately impact and help define our discipline. Starting in 2010 we were faced with a number of challenges such as the lack of precedent undergraduate programs, technology's fast rate of change, and as many stories about paths to becoming an interaction designer as there are individuals in the practice. Our first class will graduate in 2014, which means we need to grasp not only the state-of-art but also where the practice is headed. To accomplish this, we followed a design process to learn from students about what excites them, from practitioners about their practices and direction and from industry about their trends and what they most lack and desire to be prepared. Along the way I was privileged to encounter a number of unique practitioners who both possess a phenomenal combination of skills and were wildly successful. I believe these individuals point to the future of the practice. The overall design process for the program involved over one hundred people and helped inform the development of our curriculum, the faculty profile(s) and what constitutes a successful interaction designer now and in the future.
Dr. Kristian Simsarian is the undergraduate Interaction Design program chair at California College of the Arts
(CCA). He believes in the power of design to simplify, enrich, and transform our lives and the world. His work focuses on bringing innovative human-centered design and strategy to meaningful fruition for companies and institutions, from pixels to processes.
He brings a deep, diverse, and international background to his project work and to the creative teams he leads that span from healthcare to high-tech. In addition to his own publications and patents, Kristian’s work has been featured in Business Week, The New York Times, and Metropolis magazine, as well as being highlighted in business books on innovation and interaction design.
Kristian cofounded the Software Experiences practice at IDEO as an Associate Partner and Practice Director with a focus on mobile. Kristian led design innovation initiatives for many of the world’s largest brands and organizations, including Microsoft, Nokia, Lily, Pfizer, Samsung, Yahoo!, XBOX, SAP, ATT, P&G, FBI, NIH. After over a decade at IDEO, he shifted his focus to found the Interaction Design program at the California College of the Arts and continues his relationship as an IDEO Fellow. In his limited free time he loves to make and build with hand tools, while living in a former fixer-upper Victorian in San Francisco with his psychologist wife and his joyful red-haired baby daughter.