The Information Design program was launched nearly ten years ago and over this past decade, we have witnessed how this program and its students are transformed. We have embraced the way our students engage with the world; they care deeply about making positive change and making sense of things that matter to them. Because of this, there was a need to provide our senior-level students with the opportunity to take on real world, ‘wicked’ challenges; a capstone project that would allow them to combine and employ all of the skills they have learned in their courses and work experiences, while challenging their thinking and processes.
Over the course of this project, students have had the at-times-frustrating but ultimately gratifying experience of tackling messy, ambiguous problems, resulting in a state of ‘disequilibrium’ as their previous understandings were questioned; and then coming out the other side of that, as they made sense of their insights and visualized their challenges in new ways. They have become more comfortable with the discomfort of not knowing where they will end up, and how they will solve the complex problems that they have come to understand so deeply.
Ultimately, our students have developed tenacious problem-solving capacities and rigorous creative practices that lend themselves to the responsibility that they have as Information Designers: to make the complex clear and accessible for people, enabling understanding, empathy and action.