Expanding to Springdale and Applications are open again!

DJI_0058

We’re excited to announce we’ll be moving to Springdale General this summer! We’ll be joining a community of creatives and makers, such as Center for Social Innovation, Latinitas, and the many other creative studios. We also can’t wait to get over-caffeinated at Cafe Medici’s new roasting facility which will be right across from AC4D’s new home.

With this new expanded space, we will be able to offer a few more spots in our 2018-2019 cohort! Applications are open again until July 1, 2018. Acceptances will be sent out by July 15, 2018, and classes start Aug 13, 2018. Admission details can be found here.

Be sure to browse through our curriculum, type of student projects, and what our alumni are up to after graduation. There’s an entire book about the designerly approach to wicked problems you can read online for free. Our students also post their assignments and reflections on the AC4D blog.

How do I speak to someone about the program?

  1. We have a booth at ATX Hack for Change on June 1-3, 2018. If you’re going to be there, swing by!
  2. We’ll be having a virtual info session and Q&A with the Director on June 12 at 12-1pm and June 20 at 7-8pm. Sign up here.
  3. Reach out to admissions@ac4d.com directly and schedule a chat.

Can I learn more about the experiences from alumni?
Check out this three-min video, and Q&A videos (here and here). If you prefer to read, they share their journeys pre- and post-ac4d in these interviews. You can also find all of them here and reach out directly.

What else do I need to know?
Even though the application isn’t officially due until July 1, 2018, we highly encourage anyone considering applying to reach out to admissions@ac4d.com. We want to get to know you!

Looking Back: 2017 Year In Review

Now in our eighth year, we have developed a strong network of alumni, faculty, and friends that continue to practice, train and build thought leadership in designing for impact.

Our alumni have been accepted to speak at IxDA, SXSW and Design Thinking 2018, their startup has gotten into pre-accelerator Div Inc, and they’re building products to make vital social services more accessible. Our faculty have written new books and participated in panels during Austin Startup Week and Austin Design Week. In addition to our one-year certification program, we ran two sold-out bootcamps and held workshops at Federal Reserve Board’s Community Leaders Forum 

Internally, we’ve also seen a lot of growth. In June of this year, Jon Kolko passed the torch of Directorship to AC4D alumna and faculty, Ruby Ku. Jon remains an active advisor and faculty member, as Ruby embarks on a new chapter.

For the first time we have established a partnership with the City of Austin Innovation Office. The students were tasked with exploring the topic of civic engagement and presented their findings to the community. Watch their research presentation, and stay tuned as they prototype and test ideas in the coming months.


Thanks to everyone who has continued to support us this year! Want to join us? Applications for our 2018-2019 class are due January 15, 2018!

AC4D 2015 Alumni Success Report

We track success of our alumni based on autonomy: we hope our graduates are doing what they want to do, and have gained the skills, attitude, and network to attain their dreams. We’ve just completed our 2015 Alumni Success Report, and you can view the results here. Some of the report highlights include:

  • 87.5% of our alumni are professionally employed in design related careers
  • 34 of our alumni are working in salaried positions; of these salaried alumni, the mean salary is $86,239.80
  • 85% of our alumni are happy in their current role

Congrats to our all of our students; click to view the full report.

Girls Guild to join UnLtd USA’s First Austin Cohort

gg

AC4D alumni Cheyenne Weaver and Diana Griffin have been accepted into UnLtd USA, Austin’s first incubator for entrepreneurs solving pressing social and environmental problems. Girls Guild, along with five other impact enterprises, has been chosen to receive seed funding and a full year of Incubation Support. The entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of over 80 applicants and went through a rigorous selection process that included pitching to two Final Selection Panels composed of business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. The year-long program kicks off in September. Entrepreneurs will receive seed funding, on-going mentorship and training from the UnLtd USA and their network of partners and mentors.

Congrats, Cheyenne and Diana!

UX for Good: Introduction

Hello!

My name is Matt Franks.  I’m a faculty member at the Austin Center for Design.

This post marks the beginning of a series that I hope to maintain over the next few weeks on my participation in this year’s UX for Good challenge – Kigali & London.

What is UX for Good?

“UX for Good is an effort to push design as far as it can go: past forms, interactions and experiences to complex human systems, and beyond attractive, effective and elegant to deeply impactful. UX for Good is out to set the edge, so non-practitioners can see the full potential of design and practitioners can do the most meaningful work of their careers.

Each year, a handful of top user experience designers from around the world are brought together to conceptualize and develop novel interventions that help solve complex, social challenges.”

UX for good aligns to the mission of AC4D in that it attempts to make meaningful change by focusing on problems worth solving. This year’s challenge focuses on a particularly wicked problem: Converting the profound feelings elicited by genocide memorials into meaningful and sustainable action.

As part of this challenge, I will be visiting Kigali, Rwanda for several days of exploration, research, and debate around the topic of Genocide. Kigali is home to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center.

This memorial is built on the site of mass grave, housing the remains of 250,000 Rwandans who were killed over three months in 1994.

Jason Ulaszek of Manifest Digital and Jeff Leitner of Insight Labs, the founders of UX for Good, give great context into this years challenge:

“Like all such memorials, it is intended as an antidote to genocide itself – teaching us and moving us to ensure we will never again be detached and complicit.

But, for the most part, we remain unchanged. Virtually every visitor to a genocide memorial or holocaust museum can attest to overwhelming feelings of sympathy, sadness and outrage. Schoolchildren and world leaders alike leave speechless. But most visitors can also attest that they did nothing substantively differently as a result.”

For those of you who are interested in the complete design brief, you can find it here.

I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my career surrounded by individuals who I would regard as more capable than myself in so many ways. I’m genuinely excited to be working on a problem whose solution is in no way obvious, and with a team of talented individuals from around the world.