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Get your hands dirty with human-centered design

Interested innovators can join us for a number of different courses to learn more about human-centered design, its elements, and how it can be applied in the public sector.

Summer Design School 2018

The Lab at OPM will be hosting two sessions of Summer Design Schools (SDS) in 2018: one in Oakland, CA from June 4-8, 2018 and one in Washington, DC from June 18-22, 2018. SDS is a week-long work/learn/engage event for government participants eager to experience new ways to understand and apply human-centered design methods in government.

When + Where: Either Oakland, CA June 4-8, 2018 or Washington, DC June 18-22, 2018
Why: Because it  is time to experience with new ways of teaching, learning, and engaging with human-centered design in the public sector.
How: A mix of structured and unstructured offerings: formal and informal content delivery, site visits to non-government innovation hubs, studio work time, space for collaboration and networking, etc.
Who: Open to government employees and others interested in design's application to the public sector
More information: Check out the schedules for Oakland, CA and Washington, DC

Register for Summer Design School 2018

Fundamentals of Human-Centered Design Workshop

This workshop provides an understanding of how you can use human-centered design practices in your daily work. It focuses on:

  • Breaking down complex problems to understand their root causes
  • How root causes impact the people we serve
  • Why human behavior might inform potential solutions
  • The use of rapid prototyping to learn about and develop potential solutions to complex challenges

This monthly workshop is a fast-paced, project-based learning experience that focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis.

Register for Fundamentals of Human-Centered Design
Register for Fundamenatls of Human-Centered Design in Denver June 26-28, 2018

Visualizing Systems

Visualizing Systems focuses on using visual language to understand systems. It will examine different types of systems, from natural to technological, and how they are represented. It will also break down everyday systems into their basic parts and practice drawing their flows and behaviors. Visualizing Systems will help students propose sustainable improvements to a system and communicate insights to others. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the fundamentals of systems thinking and its value in designing sustainable strategies.
  • Understand visualization as an approach to problem-framing.
  • Experience creative collaboration and participatory problem-solving in the context of a diverse group.

Register for Visualizing Systems in Denver June 25, 2018

**Join us for our Module Fair July 10-20, 2018!**

The Lab at OPM continues to expand its design education portfolio with six new modules to be launched in our Modules Fair (July 10-20) at the Lab at OPM. Our design modules are day-long workshops focusing on different aspects of the design process as it applies to government innovation. Join us to be the first to take these new courses!

July 10, 2018: Problem-Framing for Solution Finding

 In this one-day course, we will explore problem framing in the arts, sciences, industry, diplomacy, and humor (among other fields). We will experiment with various applications of and approaches to this powerful practice in design. 

Register for Problem-Framing for Solution Finding 

July 11, 2018: Design for Government

This module will explore the historical design of this country’s democracy and how it has led to the current state of its political institutions, with a focus on the federal bureaucracy. Combining this historical grounding with the tenets of human-centered design will reveal levers for change and possibility to the perceived limits to public sector innovation.

Register for Design for Government 

July 12, 2018: Constructive Critique

As a participant, you will be introduced to and practice techniques for discussing and evaluating ideas, plans, pitches, stories and presentations in order to identify future action and designs. Participants will also use insight gained from facilitated conversations to iterate on their personal approach to providing feedback.

Register for Constructive Critique

July 13, 2018: Participatory Design Methods

Participatory design is designing with users, and not just for them. In this course, we explore the theory and methods of participatory design, as well as strategies for how and when to deploy them. 

Register for Participatory Design Methods

July 18, 2018: Visual Communication for Everyone

Participants will leave this course able to recognize fundamental visual design principles and use them to create work that visually aligns with their intentions. This will result in better collaborations with designers and improve the visual communications they produce every day.

Register for Visual Communication for Everyone

July 20, 2018: Designing Your Next Transition

In this one-day course, we will draw on human-centered design and developmental psychology to develop strategies and next steps for making the most of your next transition. You will leave with a specific action plan and timetable for taking your next step.

Register for Designing Your Next Transition