The new BusinessWeek has a "special report" on "Design Schools" and identifies the "Best D-Schools" in North America, Europe, and Asia. Co-author Jessi Hempel talked to several of us at the Stanford d.school about the story, and I was delighted that we were on the list and even more delighted that they elected to simply list top schools rather than to do some kind of ranking from best to worst, as I think that this "category" is too new and there are too many differences among the different kinds of school -- so trying to rank the single course taught by the Harvard Business School to the MIT Media Lab to the California College of Arts doesn't seem reasonable. I think their perspective -- that these schools all try to produce people who can do creative work -- is the right take, that certainly is what we try to do at the Stanford d.school. The twist I would add is that we don't so much try to teach people to be creative individuals (although that is certainly one goal), our main mission is to produce people who are skilled at contributing to the process of creative collaboration.
I also was pleased to see that the opening main story on The Talent Hunt started off with a description of the Firefox project, which was part of the class that Diego Rodriguez and I taught on Creating Infectious Action -- which we've written about on both our blogs. We love coverage and we realize that there probably wasn't space to the name all students, but I want to give special thanks to John Lilly and Asa Dotzler from Mozilla, coach Debra Dunn, and to the four students who worked on www.firefoxies.com -- which was mentioned in the article, Thomas Niss, Xiao Wang, Corrine Putt, and Brian Witlin. More evidence that sex sells -- note also that those pictures sometimes are censored a bit before they are posted, as the website is rated PG!
Meanwhile, Michael Dearing, Perry Klebahn, Liz Gerber, Alex Ko and I are teaching a new d.school class this term called Clicks-n-bricks: Creating Mass Market Experiences. The first day of class was Thursday and the first assignment is to "improve the theme park experience, especially for non-English speakers." We have buses of students off to visit local theme parks this weekend. I can hardly wait to hear what they discover and what design changes they suggest. I attach the description of the first assignment for the curious -- as you can see it is a very simple and broad description and, if you think about it, a mighty tough problem!