Why we need a conversation about Interaction Design Education

No one put it better than Kim Goodwin in 2009 at Interaction09: “Each One, Teach One.”


Little has changed in the last 5+ years since that talk. Every designer has the responsibility of helping those who come after us to develop into amazing designers.

The issue is that we all don’t know what/how to do and even those who “do know” aren’t all in agreement on what that is exactly. Further, we aren’t very clear on what is needed by those who are employing designers within industry/practice, and is there even a singular need at all.

Diversity is not a bad thing either, but diversity for its own sake feels like a waste. So that is where the Interaction Design Education Summit comes into play.

At the previous two IxDA Interaction conferences there have been Education Summits. In Toronto, we brought together folks around 4 topics the organizers felt were lynchpins in the current state of interaction design education: industry relationships, researcher, portfolio/work presentation, and continuing education. We also had the opportunity to learn from the Norwegian Interaction Design community and their amazing efforts to improve IxD education and scale it to their fast paced growing needs. In last year’s edition in Amsterdam some of those themes continued, with new ones on apprenticeships and alternative education models.

At both previous events we were able to share what it is we did at the Summit with the entire Interaction conference community and in 2014 we were able to video record that session:


For me my greatest concerns is the drive to be everything. The pressures of economy are pushing us to put more and more into programs traditional and alternative alike. There are other disciplines out in the world that always scale with technology, with adjustments to methods or based on the realities of the current status of markets and economies. How do we do that? Should we do it like they have? Do we have to do it our own way? Is this something that everyone should do, or can some programs/interests remained focused, while others flatten their curriculums to make them more inclusive of a greater number of topics?

What’s the topic of greatest concern to you? Are you invested in design education from the point of view of the educator, the designers, the hiring manager, or just someone who wants to see Interaction Design advance as a discipline? Regardless of your motivation, we’d love for you to share your point of view and even better if you have something you want to teach the community about the way you educate the designers in your life.

Submit your ideas to the Education Summit. We’d love to hear from you. If you don’t have an idea worth sharing, that’s ok. Come, learn, share viscerally during the event by registering here.

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