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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.

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

Visual Eloquence

Visual Eloquence explores the applications of sketching, drawing, and diagramming in the human-centered design process. By experimenting with forms of graphic communication and visual narrative that support critical thinking, this class demonstrates the full potential of simple pictures to develop insights, share ideas, and communicate outcomes.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To apply different methods of drawing, sketching, and diagramming and understand their use in design and problem-solving.
  • To test ways of clarifying problems visually and find solutions using signs, symbols, and hand-generated notations.
  • To create personalized vocabularies of visual elements that enable high-level discovery, communication, and critical thinking.
  • To evaluate ways of combining words and visual elements in expressing complex challenges, processes, and systems.

Register for Visual Eloquence
Register for Visual Eloquence on April 3 in NYC

Mapping Systems and Processes

This module explores the value of mapping as an adaptable practice in human-centered design and public sector innovation. It formulates the applications of mapping as a verb and a noun in the design process and examines how maps help innovators solve problems. Mapping Systems and Processes compares different mapping approaches in order to extract their value in addressing complex challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To examine the elements of maps and the process of mapping in order to prioritize mapping strategies in relation to desired outcomes.
  • To compare and understand different types of maps and analyze their value as representations of complex realities.
  • To formulate mapping vocabularies and methods that support high level discovery, communication, and critical thinking towards problem solving.
  • To experience mapping formats that are widely used in human-centered design and public sector innovation.

Register for Mapping Systems and Processes
Register for Mapping Systems and Processes on April 4th in NYC

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 on April 5th in NYC

Spring Design School 2018

The goal of Spring Design School is to build design thinking, problem solving and innovation skills in Government. This week-long workshop experiments with new ways of teaching, learning and applying human-centered design in the public sector. Through a mix of structured and unstructured offerings, participants will look at complex challenges through a series of different frames over the course of the week focused on helping them to understand why, when and how to apply design to their public sector work.

Spring Design School will deliver new content in new forms to illustrate the variety of ways in which design can be applied to the public sector. Each day learning activities will be provided in a series of different locations, beginning at The Lab at OPM and moving to other private sector and public sector locations. The workshop will be a mix of:

  • Structured and unstructured offerings
  • Formal and informal content delivery
  • Site visits to innovation hubs in the DC area
  • Studio work time
  • Collaboration and networking

Register for Spring Design School