Two members of the School of Architecture team have been awarded covered spots in South by Southwest’s 2020 programming. A panel submitted by Associate Dean for Research and Technology Allan Shearer titled “Making Cities Antifragile to Face Unknown Unknowns” will be a part of the SXSW Interactive Design Track, taking place the first week of the conference, March 13-18; and Associate Professor Tamie Glass’ panel “Getting Students Career Ready with Design Thinking,” will be a part of the Global Education Track offered during SXSW EDU, March 9-12.
About “Making Cities Antifragile to Face Unknown Unknowns":
In this session, Shearer and his fellow panelists – Dr. David Kilcullen (President and Chief Executive Officer) and Janneth Vargas Pedraza (Internal Security Consultant) of Cordillera Applications Group, and Christine Morris the former Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Norfolk, Virginia – will discuss their collaboration on a project that combines handheld tech, the science of antifragility, and flows of people, things, energy, and information through cities.
The project, which has been in development since DARPA sponsored the research in 2017–2018, investigates the development of a computational model of antifragility as applied to urban areas. Motivated by experiences with war, crime, and urban social and climatic stresses, the team’s work seeks to detect “disturbances in the force” to reduce threats from agents such as mass shooters and terrorists, and from other disastrous events. Melding diverse perspectives and emerging technologies, their goal is early detection, rapid response, and a system-based evolution of cities to save lives. In the SXSW panel discussion, the team will outline their work to-date, next steps, and they will address the challenges and opportunities for their design-based approach.
Takeaways from the panel include learning:
- How to think about cities as complex, emergent, and antifragile systems—systems that can learn from and improve from stress.
- What technologies and techniques can help cities frame, identify, and track variables to test whether they are becoming more fragile or antifragile; and
- Why sustainability and resilience are critical qualities for urban areas, but not enough to address urban challenges of 21st century cities.
About “Getting Students Career Ready with Design Thinking”:
In this session, Glass is joined by fellow design educators from The University of Texas at Austin and IE University to discuss the importance of “design thinking” in helping students prepare for their careers.
Panelists include: Martha Thorne, Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and Dean of the IE School of Architecture & Design; Julie Schell, Executive Director and Assistant Professor of Practice in the UT Austin School of Design and Creative Technologies; and Guzman de Yarza, Academic Director at IE University, and the EMEA Head of Workplace Strategy at JLL.
In the panel, the team will talk about the importance of design thinking as a tool for preparing students to succeed in the continuously evolving 21st-century workplace. The context of design thinking means that users are not unidimensional; instead, there is a multiplicity of people thinking about and using the world, and design thinking offers a way of responding to all those different types of personalities, people and places. The panel will also offer tips for helping students thrive in a global workforce, and will teach specific strategies for leveraging design thinking to help drive employability and career readiness, while democratizing access to design, and cultivating new talent.
Takeaways from the panel include:
- Incorporating design thinking in education to drive self-directed learning and the ability to construct knowledge as skills for future success
- Using design thinking, or human-centered design, to help students discover the influence of culture and diversity in problem-solving.
- Drawing on design thinking concepts to help students balance ambiguity with empathy, setting the stage for leadership in a rapidly evolving workplace.
More information about SXSW 2020 is available at https://www.sxsw.com. The full conference schedule, including the specific date and time of “Making Cities Antifragile to Face Unknown Unknowns,” and “Getting Students Career Ready with Design Thinking” will be announced later this fall.