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Meet the New Hybrid Designers

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Michael Eckersley, Principal, HumanCentered; Professor, Interaction Design & Design Management, University of Kansas; Jeremy Alexis, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, Illinois Institute of Design


Nearly 20 years ago, writer and educator Peter Gorb spoke of ""a huge river of misunderstanding between the design world and the business world."" These days, the river has narrowed a bit, and there is even the beginnings of a bridge. Michael Eckersley, of the HumanCentered consultancy, and Jeremy Alexis of the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology here celebrate the advent of a new kind of ""hybrid"" designer they are beginning to see a lot of in graduate design programs. These ""design integrators"" often come to graduate school from non-design backgrounds, and many of them have changed careers-or the focus of their careers-to arrive at this point. Eckersley and Alexis interviewed a number of these individuals to understand what was easy, what was hard, and why they decided to go to design school in the first place.




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