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Design Thinking 101

Aug 20, 2019

Welcome to the Design Thinking 101 podcast! I'm Dawan Stanford, your host. Today I'm interviewing Jason Schupbach, who is the Director of the Design School at Arizona State University. Prior to this position he was Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor's Institute on City Design, the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA's Federal agency collaborations. Previously, Jason served Governor Patrick of Massachusetts as the Creative Economy Director, tasked with growing creative and tech businesses in the state. He was formerly the Director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation funded initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. He has also worked for the Mayor of Chicago and New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs. He has written extensively on the role of arts and design in making better communities, and his writing has been featured as a Best Idea of the Day by the Aspen Institute.

Jason has always been interested in people who harness creative talent and is interested in systems which support creative artists and designers in cities. He wanted to know how he could create spaces for creatives to collaborate and have the ability to solve problems.

Today, we explore how Arizona State University is applying design thinking. ASU is the largest university and is engaged in social justice by creating educational opportunities with Starbucks and Uber. Challenges for design schools and how we need to teach soft skills and power skill sets knowledge. 

We'll also dig into how businesses are looking for students who can work collaboratively with soft skills as well as working knowledge of a field. How we can use goals and objectives to build online degrees integrating design thinking and why this must be done collaboratively and without one person delegating the entire process. How privilege plays a role in student preparedness to step into a designer role. Jason's role in providing local schools with how design thinking can be learned and applied inside the classroom. He is passionate about us all being in the boat together, tackling world problems with his programs.

Learn More About Today’s Guest

Jason Schupbach on LinkedIn

In This Episode

[01:38] Jason’s background and how he arrived as a design thinking leader.

[05:55] Design Thinking applied in Arizona State University.

[06:55] Making the world a better place using research which is valuable.
[08:17] Jason’s pitch to ASU to become a relevant, equitable and collaborative university.

[09:18] The poison in our society with a single leader and no collaboration.

[12:11] Why multiple skill sets are needed to solve today’s complicated problems.

[14:55] Engineering and business school at ASU incorporates design thinking.

[17:15] Assets we can use to build out and harness the power of design thinking.

[19:07] Jason asks, “How do we create and build using architectural mindset?”

[21:41] How students are presenting what they have learned and how privilege plays a role in student preparedness to step into a designer role.

[22:02] Support systems ASU puts in place for students in need.

[27:45] The NASA space map and how students designed future spaceships which they projected into the space model.

[30:35] Changes in US policy which are affecting student’s financial ability and quality of life.

[33:45] The change is coming and why it’s higher education’s job to implement change. 

[37:47] Design a good human as well as a good student.

Links and Resources

Arizona State University

Research and Innovation at ASU

Next City

Redesign School

NEA Grantee

National Endowment for the Arts