Thresholds: Design and Science



Science and design are often thought to represent opposite mindsets of analysis versus conjecture, of explanatory versus disruptive modes of thinking. Audacious, provocative, and unconventional work emerges when we cross the traditional disciplinary divide between science and design. The March 2020 conference assembles thought leaders from both areas—researchers and practitioners who interrogate the spaces in between through their work. The...

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Cesar Hidalgo, "The tools and principles of collective learning"

How do teams, cities, and nations learn? In this talk I will discuss the principles that govern the creation, diffusion, and valuation of knowledge. These principles govern the accumulation of knowledge from experience, the diffusion of knowledge across social, geographic, and cognitive barriers, and the connection between the geography of knowledge and important macroeconomic outcomes, such as income, economic growth, and inequality. I will then use these principles to discuss optimal industrial diversification strategies, micro-mechanisms governing knowledge diffusion, and...

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Ellen Langer, Mindfulness

Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful LearningOn Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her most most recent book is ...

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Patrick Whitney, "Design and the Economy of Choice"

Patrick Whitney is the dean of the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design. Professor Whitney has published and lectured throughout the world about ways of making technological innovations more humane, the linke between design and business strategy, and methods of designing interactive communications and products.

Gaurab Bhardwaj, "The Many Guises of Big Problems"

Big problems are those that if solved, even in part, can transform societies for the better. Yet so many remain unsolved. This is partly due to a lack of methods for discovering, recognizing, understanding, and framing problems. Consequently, big problems can remain unattended and/or the right problem is not solved. Gaurab Bhardwaj, whose research and teaching focus on solving big problems, presented ideas and frameworks that can be used to understand issues so that we may tackle them more effectively.


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