By Doreen Lorenzo
It’s been over a year since founding the Center for Integrated Design here within the College of Fine Arts. Our goal in creating the Center was to bring design thinking into the core of the UT curricula on a comprehensive scale. Design, Engineering, Information, Business, Computer Science and Architecture schools came together to create a multidisciplinary curriculum that allows all UT students the opportunity to study design methodology and apply it in creative and entrepreneurial scenarios. With just two semesters under our belt, it’s become clear that the need and interest for such a program was long overdue.
The overwhelming popularity of our courses from students across campus showed us that our undergraduates are curious and interested in learning how design thinking and human-centric design can complement their areas of study and increase post graduate hireabilty. This says something significant about cross functional learning and knowledge sharing. Being a smart and attractive hire from the College of Business means knowing more than just what is offered as part of the undergraduate business degree. And of course, the same can be said of a Design student needing to round out his or her skill sets to include best business practices and entrepreneurial knowledge.
As Dean Dempster and I began to analyze and plan for the future of the CID based on the interest and enthusiasm we were experiencing, we realized that the College of Fine Arts has a very unique opportunity to do something bigger.
I’m so proud to share that the College of Fine Arts is launching the School of Design and Creative Technologies. The new school will focus on educating students for creative professions in heavy demand across a wide range of industries. Students will study designing for health, designing for artificial intelligence, creative technologies in theater and music, entrepreneurial ventures and cross-disciplinary design thinking methodologies.
The School of Design and Creative Technologies will include a new Department of Design and a new Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies. These departments will be built on the premise that key partnerships with Fortune 500 companies give students unique, real-world connections and hands-on experiences that are necessary for creatives and non-creatives alike.
We intend to pay special attention to what Austin’s robust tech and design market in creative industries has to offer and we’ve even hired a Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to help support our mission and coach our students on how to become creative business leaders.
I was brought to campus to take these incredible students that we have here and support them so they can do their best work and become active members of our communities. The College of Fine Arts wants to be a driver in the creative economy and now we have a huge opportunity to be a part of shaping that.
We’re all creative in one way or another and I aim to help teach students to use their creativity to do something that makes an impact. That’s what drives me. That’s why I want to do this.
I thank you for your enthusiasm and passion. We have that in common.