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Jan 16, 2019
Join a Team for'­s 9-Week Course for Human-Centered Design

In January, and +Acumen will once again be offering their highly regarded free 9-week online course, Design Kit: Course for Human-Centered Design. As we've done often in the past, Portland Community Design Thinkers will be hosting a special meetup on Jan. 16 to help facilitate the creation of teams for all members who wish to join the course.

Created by for those who are relatively new to design thinking, +Acumen's free Design Kit: Course for Human-Centered Design is probably one of the best and most immersive resources anywhere for getting up to speed on the nuts and bolts of HCD. This meetup is specifically for those interested in learning more about the course and helping to form working teams. Please note PCDT is not managing this course -- you'll be on your own for that. But we're keen to give anyone interested a leg up in getting off to the best possible start with a group of other eager local participants, and participants are welcome to use our own Slack channel for course communication and organizing, as many groups have previously done.

Read more about the course at the below link.

In brief, it's a nine-week online FREE curriculum that will introduce participants to the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions. During those nine weeks, you'll work online (and off) with a group of 2-6 people, learning the HCD process by applying it to one of three pre-crafted real world design challenges. (You'll also have a choice to craft your own challenge.) Each week you will explore the fundamental concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you'll meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty practicing the relevant human-centered design methods.

Let's get as many teams together as we can for the next course! Read more at this link:

Jan 29, 2019
Addictive By Design: How Our Phones Hijacked Our Lives and What We Can Do About It [Portland Community Design Thinkers]
Vacasa Office

One thing that became abundantly clear in 2018 is that our relationships with our phones, and digital technologies in general, began to seem less like a partnership and more like an indentured servitude.

The zeitgeist last year was saturated with terms like “digital attention crisis,” “distraction addiction,” “mindful tech,” ethical technology,” and “time well spent.” When, in August, Facebook and Instagram introduced a new dashboard to tell us how long we’ve spent inside their apps, they were responding to a groundswell of concern that these apps are hijacking our attention in ways that are not aligned with users’ best interests but, rather, mainly with the interests of advertisers. “Engagement,” the chief currency of Silicon Valley since the first personalized ad appeared, has become inextricably linked with the hidden design practices that prioritize user time on platform above all other considerations. As a result, we’ve all begun to feel the pinch of “the cost of free.”

In 2018 some of us started pushing back. People like former Google Design Ethicist Tristan Harris and groups like the Center for Humane Technology sought to make our digital tools more human-centered, more accountable and maybe a little less less powerful -- and their views flipped from fringe to the mainstream in what has been called a “techlash.”

On January 29, we’ll gather for a hands-on look at how design is at the heart of this issue: the bottomless newsfeeds, the limited menu choices, the proliferating Autoplay function, notifications set to “ON” by default, and all the intermittent variable rewards that turn our phones into slot machines with dopamine payouts.

We’ll examine our own relationships to our devices and the apps we can’t stop looking at. And we’ll explore what a truly human-centered digital ecosystem could look like.

PCDT organizer Patrick Sharbaugh will be joined by Dr. Dan Rubin, a Portland clinical psychologist who specializes in mindfulness-based psychotherapy and is an adjunct professor of psychology of Maitripa College, where he teaches courses on the intersection of psychology and Buddhism. Dan and Patrick are both active members of the Community for Humane Technology, the outreach arm of the Center for Humane Technology whose aim is to align technology to humanity's best interests.

Bring your mobile device. You’ll need it!