WHY human-centered design?
NEIA aims to develop highly motivated and empathetic innovators who work with a steadfast sense of purpose. To achieve this vision, the school embeds human-centered design into the fabric of its curriculum. Human-centered design is a creative problem-solving methodology that focuses on the needs of the people who will benefit from the designer’s solution. Built on a foundation of deep empathy, our curriculum produces innovators who create solutions that meet the needs of those they seek to serve, while positively impacting their lives in unique ways. Such a learning experience allows thoughtful, inventive problem solvers who gain the confidence they need to become meaningful leaders in our rapidly evolving world.
WHO were the members of the design team?
NEIA’s founding team partnered with Matt Kressy, Principal of Designturn Inc., and Founding Director of MIT’s Integrated Design & Management graduate program (MITidm) to make this vision of human-centered design a reality at the school. NEIA was particularly inspired by the pedagogy and culture of MITidm as a home to a group of ambitious human-centered designers with diverse work experience that bring new levels of creativity, imagination, and integrity to various sectors of society ranging from education to business. Under the leadership of Matt Kressy, I embarked on this exciting project along with Cory Ventres-Pake and Dave Ludgin, three other human-centered design strategists, this summer.
HOW did we create the human-centered design curriculum?
Creating a human-centered design curriculum required us to invoke the human-centered design process itself. Since the success of a project is contingent upon the satisfaction of the stakeholders, we began by defining NEIA’s primary stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, and administrators. We aimed to create solutions that not only aligned with NEIA’s vision, but that would also meet the needs of students, prove desirable to parents, and remain feasible for teachers to implement.