IADT launches the Public Design Lab Research Centre
The Public Design Lab (PDL) at IADT was founded in March, with the express purpose of utilising the skill sets of design and the creative practices active in our institute to engage in community projects locally and beyond to create positive social impact.
The PDL combines design thinking, collaborative methodologies and emerging technologies to tackle all manner of ‘wicked’ problems like climate change, the transition to a low carbon economy, demographic developments, design for health services and the multidimensional (social, economic, ethical, cultural and political) challenges that we face in a post-Covid world.
The PDL captures the research and networking that already takes place in IADT. We collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, in industry and the community at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Significant relationships and projects have been cultivated with companies including IBM, Deloitte, Logitech, Accenture, Fjord, Allianz, Musgrave, and public sector organisations such as Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.
Programmes affiliated with the PDL include: the MA in Design for Change, an international postgraduate course founded in collaboration with the Institute without Boundaries in Toronto; the award winning MSc in User Experience Design, the MSc in Cyberpsychology and postgraduate Certificates in Design Thinking and Data Visualisation.
Recent research projects have explored a wide range of topics such as: the future of food, the migration crisis, community engagement with climate change and recycling, the ethics of designing Artificial Intelligence (AI), grocery shopping for the elderly and physically impaired, peace and reconciliation in areas of conflict.
Recent graduate Daniela Maria Yepes, created a programme ‘Tools for Reconciliation and Understanding’ that encouraged Colombian students and teachers to question how they can contribute to the reconciliation process.
Another project by Robert Guisti examined the implications of AI in order to develop an ethical framework for designers working with this technology.
UX student Vicky Anderson designed a voice-based mobile app to help the visually impaired conduct the daily task of grocery shopping with ease and independence, either remotely or in store. The project was shortlisted in the Universal Design Student Challenge Awards 2020.
IADT’s Public Design Lab focuses on design for social good, ensuring those who needs are underserved or overlooked can have access to the newest design methodologies and technologies to solve their problems and improve life for everyone in our wider communities.