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City of Austin partners with Austin Center for Design to tackle Civic Engagement

City of Austin’s Innovation Office has partnered with Austin Center for Design to explore the topic of civic engagement as the city continues to evolve rapidly. The goal of this partnership is for AC4D students to engage with Austinites, identify patterns and insights, and use this research to design and develop ideas to improve civic engagement. On Saturday December 16, 2017, students will present their initial research findings to the public at their East Austin campus.

“Our goal is that this effort doesn’t just end up being another 100-page pdf sitting on someone’s desk. A big part of our design process is to co-create with our participants, design publicly, and figure out small ways to prototype ideas. When it comes to civic engagement, the process itself is as important as the end product.” said Ruby Ku, director of Austin Center for Design.

As part of AC4D’s Interaction Design & Social Entrepreneurship program, students immerse themselves in a wicked problem for a 24-week capstone project. The 2017-2018 class marks the first official partnership with the City of Austin’s Innovation Office. For the first half of the project, students have immersed themselves in city council meetings, community events, and shadowed residents, city stakeholders and service providers. Student groups have honed in on civic engagement problems as they relate to low-income communities, the young populations, and long-term homeowners in East Austin.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the presentations to review initial research findings. After this presentation, students will use this research as foundation to design and develop ideas in various opportunity areas identified. Stay tuned for more showcases and presentations during Spring 2018 as the ideas begin to take shape and get piloted.

To RSVP for the presentation on Saturday December 16, 2017 at Austin Center for Design, visit here. Space is limited.


Interested in tackling wicked problems? Applications for Austin Center for Design’s upcoming 2018-2019 class are due by January 15, 2018. Additional program and application information is available at http://www.ac4d.com/apply-and-enroll/application-information/.