My name is Laurene Vaughan and I am the 2012 – 2103 Nierenberg Chair, Visiting Professor in Design at Carnegie Mellon University. I am the studio leader, working with Anna (our TA) and the students on this exploration into design, place and social innovation. The theme of guns and kids came about long before the Newtown shooting, but since then it has grown to become one of the hot topics for social change. I normally live in Melbourne Australia, where I am an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. I am also part of the Design Research Institute there, and of the Design Futures Lab with colleagues in the Communication Design Programme at RMIT.
In designing this course I am working with a great range of students and colleagues from in the States and internationally. My approach to this class is one of co-design – in conjunction with the students we are designing our way into the problem space and out again. what that will be and what will result we have yet to know.
I’m Anna, or AvR, and I’m the teaching assistant for Design, Place & Social Innovation Studio this spring. I’m a second year master’s student in the Communication Planning & Information Design program in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. My background is in bio-materials engineering, and as a designer I’m driven by a desire to improve the human condition by re-defining healthcare experiences, information surrounding pharmaceuticals and medical tech, and increasing awareness about materials’ impact on ecosystems.
Somewhere in there I dabble in visual design; but at my core I am a creative writer.
I’m excited to be TAing for this course, and to aid in the exploration of behavior around guns — such a timely & seemingly endemic issue in American society & public wellbeing. As a writer, I’m particularly interested in the place of the gun as a symbol or prop in media and storytelling over time and place; how does that factor into our identity? Can we continue to use weapons as symbols without leading to more real-world violence? Why are we as human beings attracted to storys with such symbols to begin with?
Feel free to ask me any questions about the course, or tell me if you are having trouble with any parts of the blog or wordpress in general!
Hello world! I’m excited to be in the Design, Place and Social Innovation studio. As an interdisciplinary student of both design and decision science, I’m really interested in how both fields can contribute practical solutions to such complex social issues. I’m also taking another class in the Social & Decision Science department called Risk Perception and Communication, and I’m hoping that some of the psychological literature will be relevant to our course. I’ll try to share some stuff along the way.
It’s a bit surreal for me to be working on such a sensitive subject matter. Having never seen a gun in person, my opinions have been formed mostly from other people’s stories and experiences. When I think about guns there is only one thing that comes to mind: how the shooting at Columbine High School directly influenced the way my high school operated. Apparently my high school in Ohio was demographically similar to Columbine, and we had an increased level of security because of the risk factor. Luckily, nothing similar has ever happened in my school district.