lauren.sands@ac4d.com

Student

Lauren Sands

Most recently, Lauren worked as the Development Director for NextOp, a nonprofit organization founded in Houston, Texas whose mission is to recruit, train, and place post-9/11 enlisted military veterans into industry careers. Before that, she worked for five years as a consultant for small and mid-sized nonprofits. In that role, she partnered with the Board of Directors and key staff members to provide long-term strategic plans, development assessments and plans, and capital campaign management, as well as general fundraising and management support.
She started her career in IBM’s Global Business Services group where she had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects for Fortune 500 companies. Projects ranged from building and implementing internal communication strategies for multi-national oil companies to developing business requirements for an advanced condition monitoring system.
Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

Recent blog posts

Facilitating Inclusive Design

Last week I facilitated a 30 minute conversation around inclusive and exclusive design. A group conversation surrounding readings we completed before class is always helpful in processing new information, but I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to prompt ideas for each of our personal design frameworks. My hope was that everyone walked…

Makers and their Money

Continuing with our work from last week, Kyle, Sean, and I have continued to speak with makers in the Austin area who rely on contract-based employment. We’ve had the opportunity to learn from artists, craft workers, and construction workers about their attitudes toward money, and about how they make ends meet whenever they are completely reliant on…

How to Be an Ethical Designer – In Practice

When talking about design, and the techniques that designers use, it’s almost impossible to leave the topic of ethics out of the conversation. Designers are able to create useful products, systems, and interactions by intimately understanding the way humans operate. Good designers go beyond understanding what a person does, and they understand why that person…

So…what exactly is going on here…?

Part of our experience as design students has been figuring out how in the world to even explain what it is that we are going to school for.  “I’m going back to school to study design!” we’ve all said to a friend or family member. “Oh, how cool…like interior, or fashion design”? For a while,…

What’s Missing From Your Design Toolkit?

For the last few weeks, my classmates and I have been reading and discussing a set of readings focused on Design Thinking. This has run in parallel with the work in our research class, where we are actively applying the design thinking methodology. In this post I’ll be processing my thoughts on design thinking methodology,…

Saving the World

A lot of people want to save the world– especially those of us who have grown up without want and in a safe and loving environment. So many of us want to help, but what we’ve been learning and discussing in our Theory class through the last set of readings is that helping is complex.…

The Methods of Design Research & The Power It Can Wield

The concept of design research is an interesting one for me. Research conjures up thoughts of science, and numbers, and p-values. It makes me think of a hypothesis and of measuring results. But, what I’m beginning to come to terms with is that design research isn’t traditional research at all. Research in the context of…

Perspectives to Consider When Building the Case for a Code of Ethics in Design

Today, most professions have a guiding code of ethics.  Some of the quickest to come to mind for you may be law or medicine, but even human relations, realty, and nonprofit fundraising have a standard code that has been agreed to and is easy to reference. Designers are in the middle of a movement to…

Reflections on AC4D Orientation 2019

Orientation week at Austin Center for Design is coming to a close.  In a very short period of time, our class of twelve was introduced to a wide variety of topics and activities. At it’s core, design strategy is about experience, emotions, and stories. Humans are inherently emotional and irrational, and I found it both…

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