kat.davis@ac4d.com

Alumni

Kat Davis

Kat Davis is a woman of many titles. She began her career with the title “business analyst” supporting national marketing campaigns for a well-known technology company. Then, for two years, Kat was known simply as “teacher” to her students in Ecuador where she volunteered with WorldTeach. Most recently, Kat has enjoyed the title “interaction designer” where she fuses technology with social good.  In her free time, Kat goes by the title “improviser” and attempts to make the world a better place through laughter.

Even the most brilliant ideas are worthless unless well communicated. Interaction design is a powerful means of communication that gives the designer a framework to articulate problems without forgetting the faces behind those problems. My desire is to bring my ideas to reality through the study of interaction design. The Austin Center for Design infuses my experiences as a student, marketer, and teacher with the tools to meet my ultimate goal of working toward a better world.

 

Recent blog posts

A Look at Electricity in Ecuador

During my recent trip to Ecuador, I explored the attitudes around and the uses of electricity. The goal of the research was not to come up with specific design ideas around a particular product or service, but rather to lay an ethnographic foundation which can later be built upon. . Ecuador is an extremely diverse…

An Interaction Designer at 3-Day Startup

40 people.  3 Days.  5 startups.This weekend, I participated in 3-Day Startup with the goal of launching a technology company in three days, on no sleep, and with people I just met. The weekend started out with everyone pitching their ideas and then voting with their feet which project to work on.   I chose…

On Design Education

The biggest takeaway from AC4D, and more generally design education, is the learned discipline of making.   Design exists not in thoughts and ideas, but in the practical implementation of ideas in the digital and physical realm. It’s really easy to live in idea land, talking about the possible.  Often times, conversations provide a false sense of accomplishment…

Mommy's Corner Pitch

Last Saturday, Saranyan and I pitched our idea for Mommy’s Corner (think the craigslist of trading).  We got some great questions around the legality of our site and the logistics of making a trade.  Stay tuned for solutions around how to make a trade run smoothly. Here’s the deck for our pitch. Here is the…

Ah, that ol'Designing For Debate

Throughout the year, various classmates and I have had discussions around imposing our own middle class values on other people through our designs.  First, this came up when deciding what our main project for this year would be.  If we were to work with those experiencing homelessness, would our perspective be one of rescuing/saving/helping the…

Think Make, not Think Meet

Think Make, acting instead of talking, isn’t new and isn’t limited to design.  Last night, I read this in Keith Johnstone’s Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre: “My bias against discussion is something I’ve learned to see as very English.  I’ve known political theatre groups in Europe which would readily cancel a rehearsal, but never a…

In the 4th Dimension We're More One-Dimensional

While theoretical physics continues to struggle with string theory, and, thus, unify space and time, technology, is already in the process of the space-time unification.  No, an individual cannot literally travel through time, but the digital footprint gathered by most babies born in western society today, carries enough residual facts, moods, and moments, to simulate,…

Research Ethics and Wicked Problems

When working on wicked problems, what one does can directly and powerfully affect lives.  While this opportunity for impact initially drove me to AC4D and to work on wicked problems, I soon discovered the complicated ethical challenges of conducting research in the social space. During classes at AC4D, we learned contextual and participatory research techniques…

Interactive Tools on Homelessness

Changes in Homelessness: It’s hard to get accurate statistics on the exact number of people experiencing homeless in the United States.  The National Alliance to End Homelessness tries with their detailed estimates and state comparisons with the national average. Children & Homelessness: What about children?  Often the forgotten face of homelessness, children face a great risk…

Homelessness is Messed Up!

Week three.  We had lots of great research but no clear focus. What did we do?  We wrote down all of the things that felt were messed up about ARCH, the system, and homelessness. Then, we took that criteria and imagined what ARCH might look like in “Impossible World” where we were in charge and…

Temporary Housing Solutions

I’ve been finding some interesting ideas for creative temporary housing solutions online. Aggregation of several different temporary housing solutions. Shopping cart and a house. Sleeping bag and a coat. If you could create a housing solution that helped those experiencing homelessness but was also something compelling that a camper might buy and use, then you…

Visual Design in Practice

Thanks to Jen Sukis, AC4D got a crash course in visual design basics. Besides learning what not to do in visual design, we learned that visual design, like all design, can only be learned by doing. The assignment – take a raw Photoshop file filled with a myriad of shapes and make a good design.…

IDSE 103- Final Pitch

http://www.vimeo.com/16329588

Yellow Bike Research Project

For Lauren’s Design Research class, Ryan, Chap, and I studied the Yellow Bike Project here in Austin.  Through our research, we came up with three simple design solutions to help Yellow Bike do what they do best, help get more bikes on the roads of Austin.  Check out our solutions and presentation slides here: Idse101…

My Design Framework

A new twist on Alfred Lord Tenneyson’s “Ulysses” Click below to download the poem. KDavisDesign Framework

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