kelsey.greathouse@ac4d.com

Student

Kelsey Greathouse

During college, Kelsey studied Anthropology and Biology, with an interest in how people develop relationships with nature. Following that passion, she spent eight years traveling the U.S. working as an environmental educator at a variety of nonprofits. In 2016, Kelsey landed in Austin, where she continued her work in the environmental field, leading litter cleanups in areas of need throughout Travis County.

She took an interest in design thinking after learning about it during a talk at SXSW Eco. Eager to learn more and explore new ways of addressing environmental and social issues, Kelsey is excited to join the AC4D community.

When in town, Kelsey often spends her time hiking, biking around the city, finding new restaurants, and desperately trying not to kill her plants. When not in Austin, Kelsey is most likely camping or traveling with her fiancé, Noah, and their dog, Kermit.

Recent blog posts

Cooking Creatively: An Ill-Structured Problem

For our last theory assignment of the first quarter, we read seven articles by different designers. Herbert Simon, along with Rittel and Webber all discussed ways to define and address ill-structured or “wicked” problems. These are complex problems that are difficult to solve or even address because of they’re ever-changing, interwoven with other issues, and often…

Homelessness in Parks and the Role of the Designer

After spending the last few years working to clean up local parks with volunteers, I can easily say that homelessness in parks is a heated issue in Austin. The below comic is partially based on true events that I experienced mixed with ideas from design experts.                    …

Recycled Reads: Stories from the Field

PROJECT OVERVIEW We are team of student researchers at the Austin Center for Design tasked with doing design research for a local Austin organization over the next several months. Our team is working with Recycled Reads, which is a used bookstore and part of the Austin Public Library system. Over the last several weeks, we…

The Limitless Nature of Data Collection

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been collecting data for our project with Recycled Reads. Recycled Reads is a part of the Austin Public Library system that helps reuse, resell, or recycle the old or damaged books from the libraries. We were aiming to interview fifteen people with the organization to gather the data for…

The Role of Subjectivity in Design Research

The past couple weeks, we have read ten articles by eight various designers. Below I’ve mapped each of these designer’s positions on a chart depicting whether we should be designing with or for the users and what level of importance the designer’s own subjectivity has in the design process. William Gaver, Paul Dourish, and Don…

Ode to the Whiteboard

Stop talking and go make something. This has been a common mantra of AC4D since day one. During orientation week, we didn’t have time to get into the weeds. Each piece of design research was introduced and acted upon so quickly that we had no time to digest what was thrown at us. We just…

The Start of Interviews

During week two, our group finally solidified an organization to work with for our four month project–Recycled Reads. After confirming with the organization, we started setting up times to do contextual inquiries with the staff and volunteers. We managed to get in five interviews during our first week of interviews. To manage all of these,…

Design, Society, and Responsibility

  Focusing on the role of design in society, we synthesized several works from philosophers over the last century during our classes this week. Specifically, we broke down works from Edward Bernays, Maurizio Vitta, John Dewey, Victor Papanek, and Neil Postman. In the diagram above, you can see those five authors mapped across a line…

AC4D and One Other Thing

The first official week of classes ended today. My one word to describe the program thus far is all-consuming. It is not only time-consuming, but also mentally and emotionally consuming. Last Monday, in our first official class, we were given our first assignment. This assignment was to find a business with a humanitarian focus and…

A Bike Named Tarzan

Following Emiliano’s advice from yesterday, “Always validate your ideas in front of users,” our team took to the streets to pitch our idea and see if people responded to it. Zev and I worked together to interview people at the DMV, a recreation center, and a park this morning. The park was our last stop…

Circles on Paper, Circles in Thought

Day four was messy. Messy in terms of our paper scraps and drawing utensils cluttering the cubicle, messy in terms of my internal thoughts, and messy in terms of our external communication. The day started off fairly light and upbeat with us learning to draw circles and lines and illustrate our ideas. Yeah, our drawings…

Making Shit Up

“I feel like we’re just making shit up” “You ARE making shit up” Today was a lesson in unlearning. Years of science classes and scientific research has taught me to take all my data, run statistical tests on it, and if, at the end, I have something statistically significant, then I can share it. If…

Rule Number One

When Jon Kolko joined us today, he gave us four rules to follow: Try new things Trust the process Build on ideas and comment Everyone has to draw For me, today was all about Rule #1–try new things. We were separated into groups, given a topic to focus on, a few prompts to start us…

Make and Make Better

Today was the beginning. The beginning of a new school year, the beginning of growth, the beginning of learning, the beginning of relationships, and the beginning of making things and totally failing. This beginning, as with most, came with some knowns, but also a ton of unknowns. Knowing that there is going to be anxiety,…

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