Open Lecture: Lauren Serota
Reality is Relative: The practicalities of designing for anyone besides yourself
Fire engine red.
If you can picture this, you’ve been exposed, at some point in your life, to a fire engine. Now, imagine you hadn’t.
The shape of each person's reality is determined by her individual experiences. This perspective determines what we do and don’t do, what is familiar or frightening, and how we engage with the world around us. Modern designers are expert in empathy; the danger of empathy alone is its dissolution of difference. Appropriately designed products, services, and policies come from acknowledging the unique and distinctive realities of others. I'll be sharing stories and frameworks on how I've reconciled these complexities of seeing in a variety of projects—from designing financial services for the rural poor in Myanmar to building strategies for corporate collaboration in Australia.
Lauren Serota leads global research, strategy and design projects both independently and as the Design Director of Studio D Radiodurans. She is a member of the founding faculty at the Austin Center for Design. Independently, as well as through past work with companies such as Lextant and frog, she has worked with a volume of commercial, government, and nonprofit clients. She regularly speaks on and teaches design, design research and social innovation.