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

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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.

AC4D featured in the Austin Phoenix

Austin Center for Design was featured in the Austin Phoenix, in an article titled “Design a Meaningful Career at AC4D:

The Austin Center for Design is a unique program. It offers the equivalent of a Masters in Design Program Structure, but could care less about the accolades of higher education. Instead, it focuses on transforming design principles into instruments of meaningful social change. This program is tailor-made for the dreamers who feel that their time behind a desk or in the front of a conference room hasn’t mattered, and want to change the world. AC4D is more than a design school; it teaches its students to reimagine why they work and to turn passions into careers.

You can read the article here!