Monday Minute, March 22, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

On Thursday, the college hosted the first "Design Intersections" event, sponsored by Tim Larsen, with AIGA Minnesota as a partner. By all accounts, it went extremely well. The symposium, Disruptive Effects, How Design is Changing your World (and how to profit from it), featured three speakers who presented related talks on the impact of the digital environment on everything from how we receive the news to how we form communities to how we address the major challenges of our time.

Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future convincingly argued that digital games can develop skills in their users of real value in solving big problems, like envisioning a world without oil, the topic of an energetic exercise involving the participants at the symposium. (See her TED talk.) Tom Erickson of IBM presented, with quiet humor, the work he and his research group are doing to increase the intelligence of cities through digital communities and wikis such as Cyclopath. And Nora Paul of the University's Institute for New Media Studies gave an entertaining and thought-provoking talk on the impact of the Internet on the news business and on web communications generally.

We will soon begin discussions on the subject of the next symposium and we'd like to hear from you. If you have thoughts about how design is affecting other fields, send your ideas to Lori Mollberg (lmolber@umn.edu), who, along with Laura Weber, Sue Danielson Bretheim, and Laura Walton, did an extraordinary job staffing the event. My thanks to all involved.

Tom

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