Design and Innovation at Lyle

Human-Centered Design (HCD), a recognized approach to creating thoughtful experiences and systems, is a core practice for some of the most innovative companies and institutions in the world. This approach lends itself well to problems involving human behavior and emotion as a critical element of either the problem definition or the potential solution. Successful solutions also rely on grounding in what is viable and feasible, both technologically and economically. Lately, HCD has emerged as a powerful approach to tackling so-called “wicked” problems which are defined by their complexity and resistance to resolution.

Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering is among the first institutions in the world to grant a degree in Human-Centered Design via its Master of Arts in Design and Innovation. As the demand for innovation and “out-of-the-box” thinking continues to clamor in almost every sector of the economy, HCD has emerged as a practical methodology for actually making innovation happen. Through the training of individuals and teams in a reliable, repeatable process for change makers, our aim is to seed the region with confident innovators.

This talk will introduce you to the basics of Human-Centered Design and cover our work with SMU students, with regional K12 educators and with other partners on and off campus.

Kate Canales is a research professor at SMU-Lyle and serves as director of Design and Innovation Programs and program director for the M.A. in Design and Innovation (MADI). She is also a principal investigator on Lyle’s partnership with the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, which is using design and innovation methods to disrupt traditional medical research processes. Kate has a background in mechanical engineering, product design and design research. Much of her recent work has focused on building creative capacity inside organizations. She studies and teaches the ways we innovate on the basis of human needs and behavior. Kate teaches several design courses including Human-Centered Design, The Context and Impact of Design and Building Creative Confidence.

Kate holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. She has worked as a designer and design researcher at IDEO and as a creative director at frog design, both internationally recognized leaders in the field of design and innovation. Her writing on HCD has appeared in Fast Company, GOOD Magazine, The Atlantic, Texas CEO Magazine and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. The Dallas Observer named her one of the “20 Most Interesting Characters in Dallas” in 2015.


Video Presentation