kevin.mccann@ac4d.com

Alumni

Kevin McCann

Kevin is a strategist, lighting designer, and product manager with an appreciation for the oxford comma. He believes good design rooted in thorough research and synthesis is the key to innovation and successful problem solving. With more questions than answers, Kevin is excited to create insightful solutions with impact. Prior to AC4D, Kevin spent most of his life either in school or working with light. He designs for the stage, and has incorporated haptic technology with user interface design to create the lighting control systems used for Broadway, TV studios, and event venues. When not in the studio he can be found on his bike or exploring Austin’s taquerías. Kevin holds a BSEE from Purdue University and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

 

Recent blog posts

BringUp selected for the 2nd round of the $50K Arch Grants Global Startup Competition

Although Will Mederski and I may have been in radio silence around AC4D recently, that doesn’t mean we haven’t continued to work on BringUp. This past fall we got our software about 2/3rds complete with help from 2 students from MakerSquare. The automated parent signup process now works, and you’re welcome to try it out…

Is the Design Movement Commoditizing Engineers?

Just about every news outlet has written about the importance of Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education recently. Businesses report that they cannot find enough engineers domestically and advocate for greater STEM education in middle and high schools. Many believe that the US is losing its competitive edge and cite the lack of skilled…

What did you do in school this year?

When you ask an 8 year old “What did you do in school today?” They will invariably answer with “Nothing.” Ask Will Mederski and me what we did in school, and our answer is “A lot!” We’ve designed a service to combat “Nothing” and help parents discuss school at home with their kids. Our goal…

Where should we go, and how do we get there?

I’ve really enjoyed discussing Strategy over the past few weeks in the IDSE 302 – Theory of Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship.   I spent a lot of time doing case studies and strategy evaluations while studying for my MBA with a focus in Strategic Management. At the time, I understood strategy as  “Where do…

Service Blueprinting – SchoolShare the App!

After performing individual research, Kevin and Will joined forces to create a new product and service for use in elementary school classrooms. The product tentatively named SchoolShare, is a tool which gives parents a window into the classroom. Using SchoolShare, teachers can instantly share student’s work with their parents, to encourage parent engagement outside of…

Well, That’s a Lot Better

Let’s start with some honesty.  I wasn’t very happy with my 4th iteration in our IDSE201 – Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving class.  I felt like I had hit a brick wall on what I knew how to implement within the design constraints of the assignment, as well as the constraints I put on…

Goods + Services = Experience

Neoclassical economics presents a pretty simple theory of supply and demand to set the equilibrium price of a manufactured good. The supply and demand theory assumes that consumers make “rational” decisions, when choosing which product to purchase. Is a person being “irrational” when choosing to fly a more expensive airline with the same in-flight services?…

One is Better Than Two

For my fourth iteration of my class scheduling application in IDSE201 – Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving, I was encouraged to create a solution which doesn’t require the user to advance to a separate page to schedule the classes. In order to meet the needs of my client, (The School of Electrical and Computer…

Take Two Iterations, and Come Back Next Week

We’re one third of the way through our class scheduling application assignment in IDSE201 Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving. I find myself struggling between creating a simple, easy to use interface, and exploring new ways to visualize a schedule and calendar. I’m sticking with the KISS solution for now. For my second iteration, I…

It's the Ecosystem, Stupid!

In the early 1900’s, manufacturing, agriculture, and services each made up about one third of the United States labor force. At that point, technology and mechanism reduced the number of farmers, and labor was diverted to manufacturing and services. This trend continued until the 1960’s when manufacturing began to decline, and the service workforce continued…

Stop Being An Engineer. – A Wireframe For Engineers

As a student of Interaction Design, I realize that we ‘interact’ with everything in our world. I have an interaction with my contact lenses every morning. I interact with my car and traffic as well. I’m interacting with my computer the AC4D website as I write this blog.  Some of these experiences are designed, while…

Complex Solutions to Complex Problems

This week we were asked to describe the difficulties of solving complex problem. Simple problems can be solved through reaction, while complex ones require more investigation and strategy. Philip Johnson-Laird broke the process down to a molecular level. While not simple, chemistry notation can be used to model a complex and ever changing problem.

Position Diagram Two

This week we were asked to position our own design values between the design “For” and design “With” theories. On one end of the spectrum, designing only “for” would be standing at 100’ distance and creating an object or service to directly solve a single observed need. The other side would be only designing “with”…

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy

One of my favorite things about Austin, is that you can talk to strangers without them thinking you’re creepy or have alternative motives. The Midwesterner in me had no apprehensions about approaching local residents out of the blue for lunch and to share nothing more than our common interests over BBQ. By googling “Lighting Austin”…

Design Ideology

We’ve had many ideological discussions regarding design in class over the past 2 weeks. While all of the design theories make logical sense to me and support my own personal beliefs, two really stood out while discussing Richard Buchanan. To paraphrase: “To design is to make technology more human.” And “Technology is the art of…

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