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The Future of Interaction Design: #IXDES17

The 2017 Interaction Design Education Summit, taking place this weekend at the College, is a forward-thinking, two-day sub-conference for practitioners, educators and students who seek to explore and energize the design education community, its forms, processes and consequences. The summit is part of Interaction 17, the 10th annual conference organized by the Interaction Design Association, of which SVA is the official education partner and a host. More than 1,000 design leaders, professionals and students will attend this program of workshops, talks and competitions over the weekend and through next week. The Education Summit, co-chaired by Liz Danzico, chair of MFA Interaction Design, will open the conference this Friday and Saturday, February 3 – 4.

Following the conference's greater theme this year of "Design in Context," the Education Summit asks how context and collaboration can influence learning. Dedicated to examining the current and future state of design learning, the summit advocates the understanding that design education is no longer something that happens only in one place—a room, a particular institution, or through a website. Instead, it's an ongoing endeavor across multiple contexts and over the course of one's career.

“We wanted to build off the idea that there’s not one point where formal education stops and profession begins, and to see what happens when those lines are blurred,” Danzico says. “Design education is a lifelong pursuit.”

The Education Summit boasts an impressive lineup of speakers, including professors and professionals from across the country and around the world. Several SVA faculty members from various design disciplines will present, including keynote speaker Paul Ford, of MFA Interaction Design, who will kick off the summit on Friday evening with a talk at the SVA Theatre entitled "Track Changes Live." Saturday contains the bulk of the programming; topics and approaches are wide-ranging from "Teaching Design to Non-Designers" to a workshop with Facebook designers.

"The Post-Industrial Design School," led by MFA Interaction Design Faculty members Christina Xu and Gary Chou, will discuss the lessons learned from their Entrepreneurial Design course, which challenged students to make $1,000 by the end of the semester by launching an original idea.

"Interrogating Systems of Justice by Design," with MFA Products of Design Faculty member Jennifer Rittner, will teach design students how to act as purposeful interrogators of self, systems and society, in order dismantle systems of injustice.

The lecture "Playing with Fire: Arguing for the Imperative of Transgressive, Near-Illegitimate Design," delivered by Allan Chochinov, chair of MFA Products of Design, will look at design at the margins, testing the reasonable limits of design practice and education.

"Teaching & Learning Disruptive New Mediums – AR, VR, AI, and IoT" is a workshop helmed by Molly Wright Steenson of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design and Phil van Allen of ArtCenter College of Design. It will offer insights, case studies and techniques for educators and students facing the radical new kinds of interactions and technologies of this era, helping educators to support the next generation of designers while still learning themselves.

Interaction 17 will run February 3 – 8 and will be held at various SVA locations as well as the Metropolitan Pavilion and the Fashion Institute of Technology. The main conference is sold out but as of this posting tickets are still available to the Education Summit as well as individual workshops. For more information, click here.

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