Designing Today's Product-Service Ecologies

Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie Mellon University
Host: Mike Schatz

A recent New York Times article boldly stated that the Golden Age of Design is upon us. Our society is certainly in the midst of a great shift in how we view the world. In the past century, we have moved from the Age of Craft to the Industrial Age; we are currently on the cusp of the Age of Information. In the 20th century, innovations including the personal computer, the internet, smart phones, cloud computing, wearable computers and 3D and CNC printing have helped to radically change our conception of what we design. Today, designers no longer create products; they instead create platforms for open innovation.

This talk will reflect my walk through the discipline of design’s many eras and shifts, in order to understand this movement from designing products to designing platforms. The eras of user-centered design, experience design, service design, and systems design will be explored to better understand this migration. An alternative framing, product-service ecologies, will be introduced to stress a systemic and ecological view as a design approach to designing the products, services, environments, and platforms of today. A systemic view ensures that the designer can identify a need and understand the implications of designing something to impact the ecology in a positive way. A systemic view helps move the designer from problem solving to problem seeking, from modeling to understanding relationships, and from prototyping to perturbing the system to understand outcomes. It also ensures that designers are creating pragmatic and purposeful systems that will improve the state of today’s world.

Speaker Biography

Jodi Forlizzi is the Geschke Director and a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is responsible for establishing design research as a legitimate form of research in HCI that is different from, but equally as important as, scientific and human science research. For the past 20 years, Jodi has advocated for design research in all forms, mentoring peers, colleagues, and students in its structure and execution, and today it is an important part of the CHI community.

Jodi’s current research interests include designing educational games that are engaging and effective, designing robots, AVs, and other technology services that use AI and ML to adapt to people’s needs, and designing for healthcare. Jodi is a member of the ACM CHI Academy and has been honored by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for excellence in HRI design research. Jodi has consulted with Disney and General Motors to create innovative product-service systems.