The Role of Innovation, Design, and Design Thinking at Univ of Portland

A panel discussion presented by:

• Ian Parkman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Marketing

• Tim Doughty, PhD, Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering

• Jennette Lovejoy, PhD, Assistant Professor Communication Studies

Moderator: Peter Rachor, Director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The influence of design and design thinking is only beginning to be acknowledged in traditional academia. One common explanation for the historical lack of appreciation of these concepts on college campuses is the inherent cross-functional nature of the design process. The University of Portland has developed several programs to encourage students to recognize that innovative products, services, and experiences as well as the innovation process itself-- be it in the contexts of nursing, law, engineering, business, education, choreography, or political science-- relies upon the ultimate user of an object considering it desirable, feasible, and valuable. Consequently, successful offerings largely depend upon successful collaborations between the disciplines of design (desirable), engineering (feasible) and business (valuable).
The purpose of this session is to engage with the design community of Portland to create a dialog between the academic perspectives of design and innovation being developed and delivered in classrooms on the Bluff and practitioner viewpoints and experiences. We are particularly interested in facilitating a conversation between attendees and faculty around what each side can and should learn from the other. Led by a moderator, panelists and the audience will describe their perspectives on the roles of design an innovation within their disciplines, their experiences integrating design-thinking perspectives in the classroom environment, discuss the outcomes of their courses including collaborations with off-campus users, organizations, and business, and debate the role of innovation and design in contemporary education.