University of Texas at Austin’s New Center for Integrated Design Led By Doreen Lorenzo
Lorenzo’s role as director is to oversee the integration of design thinking across the curriculum at the University. She will work with faculty in fine arts, business, engineering, architecture, and computer science to create a program that will allow students to study design from a multidisciplinary perspective and earn either a certificate or a degree. The professional world has already embraced design thinking within organizations, and Lorenzo hopes that students will be able to use the school’s resources to learn about design thinking as a problem-solving system.
Lorenzo commented, “It used to be, you had these 18-month, two-year product cycles — that’s all changed. Now you have rapid innovation; you’re constantly iterating; you’re constantly designing. You almost don’t have time to teach people all the fine nuances, so the more that we can make our students able to jump in and help, the more valuable they are going to be.”
Having worked at frog design and other creative firms for two decades, Lorenzo understands the importance of integrated teams in launching products. Design thinking has made its way to the business world, but academia still lags behind. What makes the new Center for Integrated Design unique is its scale — the program is open to the entire UT Austin undergraduate and graduate student body, and the curriculum is co-developed by faculty and senior practitioners in the design field.