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Westphal to host 2018 Design Research Symposium

Design Research Symposium

September 21, 2018

This year’s Design Research Symposium, on Friday October 12th, focuses on Design & Change: Health, Technology, and Environment and is part of 2018 DesignPhiladelphia, which spotlights Philly designers with more than 120 events over nine days. A presentation on healthcare driven by change, from CityBlock’s Melanie Bella, kicks off the day’s activities, examining the enormous challenges facing healthcare in America and new approaches to providing affordable and accessible medical services. Westphal Fashion professor Genevieve Dion, founder of the Shima Seiki Haute Tech Lab (HTL) and Director of the Center for Functional Fabrics, will address design and technology in a keynote speech. With opportunities to network with Philadelphia design thinkers, the symposium also welcomes industry guests Dr. Vikas C. Raykar, an IBM researcher whose work uses modern AI-based tools to understand fashion images and articles, which provides a more data-driven approach for trend analysis and forecasting; Dr. Richard Goodwin, a Principal Researcher and manager at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center where he leads the Computational Creativity Research Group that uses Artificial Intelligence to help product designers create innovative and better products; and Kathleen Kingscott, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships IBM Research.


Health Care is a highly productive field for design researchers to  unearth new solutions addressing the delivery of services, the high cost of medical care, and the rapid changes in available technologies by fostering collaborations that bring together designers, technologists, scientists and industry in interdisciplinary collaborations. Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design launched its innovative and interdisciplinary M.S. in Design Research in 2016, a two-year studio and theory-based flexible program that provides the opportunity for students to pursue a customized, self-driven course of study at the masters level. The Design Research program draws upon Drexel’s faculty and resources across a wide spectrum of disciplines within the Westphal College and with many of the University’s other 13 Schools and Colleges. Students take interdisciplinary design beyond its traditional boundaries to discover solutions for 21st-century problems –  through new research avenues. 


The Symposium, which will also feature discussions and poster presentations,  will take place in the Westphal’s URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 from 8AM to 5:30PM on Friday, October 12th. To register for the symposium please visit our Eventbrite page.


Our partners and collaborators include: The Scattergood Foundation, The Alliance, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Fit City, The Center for Architecture, Ballinger, The Lindy Institute, The ExCITe Center, Philly Nexus Coho, Philadelphia RISE, The Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, The Shima Seiki Lab.