PIONEERING HUMANITY-CENTERED DESIGN
The essence of the Don Norman Design Award (DNDA) lies in the principles outlined in Don Norman’s book, “Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered,” published by MIT Press in 2023. This publication serves as the foundation for our organization’s philosophy.
DNDA envisions a world where design embraces the well-being of humanity, encompassing diverse cultures, the environment, and all living beings. Through our awards and global summit, we strive to inspire a new generation of designers and educators, catalyzing positive change. At DNDA, we firmly believe that true innovation necessitates a comprehensive understanding of and response to the needs of the entire ecosystem.
STEERING INNOVATION AND IMPACT
At the helm of the Don Norman Design Award is our Board of Directors, who bring a wealth of experience, insight, and passion to our mission. Each member is a champion of humanity-centered design, committed to guiding the DNDA towards achieving its ambitious goals. Their strategic oversight ensures that our initiatives not only celebrate creativity and innovation but also drive tangible, positive change in the world.
GUIDANCE FROM THE FOREFRONT OF DESIGN
The Board of Advisors for the Don Norman Design Awards consists of experts and thought leaders in design, education, and social innovation. Our advisors provide guidance on emerging trends, educational strategies, and best practices, ensuring that our programs are impactful and meaningful, helping address the many issues that face society.
PASSION FOR DESIGN
The Founding Design Champion for the Don Norman Design Awards epitomizes our mission and values, creating of a better world through design. He has collaborated diligently with the Board and Web Team on all the elements of the program, from website to logo, and the design of our trophies, 3D printed with a sustainable wood, as well as other important components of our designs. In addition, his own activities, described in his biographical sketch, epitomize the spirit of the program.
At DNDA, we understand the importance of effectively communicating our message. That’s why we have a talented team leading the way in messaging and developing our online identity. They are committed to providing our community with the necessary information and building blocks to make a positive impact on the world through design.
EMPOWERING CHANGE THROUGH DESIGN
Our mission is to advance Humanity-Centered Design across the world. Why? Because it is a powerful method focused upon quality of life, working with communities to help them solve the problems they face. The methods follow lessons learned from the small startup projects that start small, and carefully advance minimally viable components that are easy to test, easy to revise, slowly increasing the power and scope of the project to cover large and larger groups, all based upon tested and proven methods.
Humanity-Centered Design is an expansion of Human-Centered Design, HCD, adding consideration of the impact of the work upon all living things and the world’s ecological system: H+CD, the “+” indicating the additional enlargement of the factors under consideration. Moreover, a fundamental consideration is to avoid being colonizers, telling communities what to do. H+CD is a system of mentoring and assisting, ensuring that the actual projects are done with and by the communities.
The Don Norman Design Award and Summitt program has three components:
- Awards to practitioners who show evidence of positive enhancement in communities, given early in their career when the award and recognition are most meaningful.
- Awards to education groups, formal and informal, that empower people with the knowledge, tools, and procedures of H+CD. These institutions must provide evidence of success through the work of their graduates.
- An annual Summit, where groups across the world convene to share their experiences and learnings, presenting not just successes, but also the hurdles and failures they experienced, and what lessons resulted.
This is a call to action to embrace a humanity-centered approach, ensuring that the future of design is inclusive, responsible, and deeply connected to the well-being of all life on our planet.
(Photo credit: Shih-hong Yang)