‘Massive vision’: Doug Powell on IBM Design Thinking, March 27

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IBM, already one of the world’s most successful companies, is setting its sights on Design Thinking to transform its culture and products. Doug Powell, Design Studio lead, will visit the Academy of Art University March 27 to share IBM’s ambitious effort to bring human-centered design to a traditionally engineering-driven organization.

The mission encompasses no less than “engaging and inspiring forward-thinking individuals everywhere to impact humanity in ways that matter and endure.” To accomplish the goal, the company has launched a new design center in Austin, Texas, where Powell is stationed. The center is built for direct collaboration—assembling designers, developers and product managers to help IBM change its approach to software design.

At its new Design Studio in Austin, Texas, IBM focuses on how coming generations of software will be designed, developed and consumed by organizations around the globe. The rebus in the background was created by Paul Rand for IBM in 1981.

At its new Design Studio in Austin, Texas, IBM focuses on how coming generations of software will be designed, developed and consumed by organizations around the globe. The rebus in the background was created by Paul Rand for IBM in 1981.

The Design Thinking initiative involves bringing hundreds of designers into IBM…and one of them is Powell, who says he took the job at IBM partly to find answers to a question: “How do we do social design at a large scale?”

Doug Powell & designing for good
It’s a question that resonates deeply and personally: Powell has served as national president of AIGA, the professional association for design, where he was a leader in the creation of Design for Good, the AIGA initiative to “ignite, amplify and accelerate design-driven social change.”

Doug Powell

Doug Powell. Photo courtesy of AIGA.

Prior to joining IBM, for more than two decades Powell was an independent designer, strategist and entrepreneur, supporting a wide range of clients and collaborators. In his presentation March 27, he will share the nature of IBM’s past and future design legacy and how his career has prepared him to assume a leadership role.

Sizing up
The opportunity to engage in social change on the “large scale” is both intriguing and intimidating. “We’ve got a huge vision here with IBM design,” says Powell, adding that no one “has created a design organization at the scale we are aiming to do.”

Take this opportunity to find out how Powell and his colleagues intend to make it happen.

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Details:
• Doug Powell on IBM and the practice of design-driven social change
• March 27, 2014
• Academy of Art University Morgan Auditorium, 491 Post St., San Francisco
• Doors open 6:30 p.m., lecture at 7
• Everyone is welcome—admission is free

Learn more about IBM’s Design Thinking initiative:
Press release
Twitter
IBM Design
AIGA

And get to know Doug Powell at his blog, Merge, “a conversation on the new ways designers are working.”

Unless otherwise indicated, photos and video courtesy of IBM

Posted: Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Filed under: News + Events
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