In a recent post on EPIC, BarnRaise: IIT Institute of Design Creates Systemic, Transdisciplinary Collaborative Models, Roxanne Knapp (MDes 2017) describes how BarnRaise came to be and the factors that impacted the event's direction.
Roxanne begins by describing the culture at IIT Institute of Design and the values of our community. ID's mission is to build thought leadership and practice around using design to innovate for humanity’s most pressing, confounding issues. That, combined with a strong student desire to create impact in our community led the 2014 student-led conference team to make a change. They saw an opportunity to re-envision DRC, aligning a new event with the changing role of design and two growing trends: designing for systems and participatory design.
"BarnRaise was designed to facilitate knowledge sharing among designers and participants in other domains with the ultimate goal of creating a better, more innovative Chicago. In doing so, it is part of an international effort to spread design thinking. BarnRaise is based on the premise that enabling people to see how a limited set of design methods and frameworks can be successful in addressing a particular problem will generate more buy-in to design thinking, expanding the ecology of design in the city and more broadly. This in turn will better equip community leaders across the city to tackle complex problems."
This year, BarnRaise participants will have the opportunity to tackle access to care. They will develop a user-centered understanding of healthcare related problems posed by a community organizations like Chicago Department of Transportation, YMCA, and Broadway Youth Center and prototype viable solutions. They will work alongside design firms facilitators from Moment, INSITUM, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, and more.