SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION requires a deep understanding of people’s needs and emotions.
HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN fosters successful innovation with empathy at its core through the following steps: explore, express, create, neianow, implement—all in a culture of collaboration and innovation.
AT NEIA, we integrate human-centered design into the way we do reading, writing, or math so it becomes part of a student’s reflexive response to solving problems.
NEIA STUDENTS will practice human-centered design by collaborating with interdisciplinary teams and real-world partners to ensure the desirability, feasibility, and viability of the project they develop.
When NEIA’s founders were rethinking what skills today’s students will need to lead their generation and how they’d create an incubator for student innovators, they tapped the expertise of Matt Kressy, the Founding Director of the MIT Integrated Design and Management master’s degree program (MITidm). Matt is a pioneer in the field of human-centered design, which is a structured process to generate innovation. At the core of the process is empathy — understanding what matters to users and stakeholders. As NEIA’s Innovation Advisor & Trustee, Matt helps us develop the curriculum and student experiences at NEIA. We will integrate human-centered design into the way we do reading, writing, or math so it becomes part of a student’s reflexive response to solving problems. Thoughtful design is an integral part of making future leaders and the world a better place, and Matt’s experience teaching at MIT, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Harvard Business School brings a real depth of knowledge on what students will need to succeed in the real world. At NEIA, students will practice human-centered design by collaborating throughout the process to ensure the desirability, feasibility, and viability of the project they develop. With the support from NEIA’s faculty and real-world Coaches, they will accomplish this through the following steps:
- Explore: find out what is wanted
- Express: share what is wanted
- Create: make what is wanted
- Test: make sure it is wanted
- Implement: make lots of what is wanted
With human-centered design at our core, NEIA will foster a culture of collaboration and innovation. Taking this approach to curriculum distinguishes NEIA, and it ensures that our students will be equipped to step into a complex, globally connected world that will require innovative thinking and collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches to everything, since the pressing issues of today and tomorrow cannot be solved with traditional thinking or approaches. In the end, NEIA prepares the next generation of innovators who will shape a better world.
To learn more about human-centered design, watch this video of Matt’s students at MIT as they develop a new version of a walker. You’ll see how they begin with the user’s needs, taking an empathetic approach to their design work.
How might we equip NEIA students with this powerful skill to innovate forward?
Join our next virtual session or meet our Dean of Enrollment Kevin Ramos-Glew. We are enthusiastic to share our plans, get to know you, and hear your thoughts.