Coming Soon: Human-Centered Making

After a semester of work, thanks to the support of Xavier’s Conway Fellowship, we’re getting ready to roll out the Bachelor of Science in Human-Centered Making.

Human-Centered Making is for anyone who wants to create with purpose. Students study design thinking and human-centered design in particular, applying it to the creation of both digital and physical artifacts. We combine the do-it-yourself attitude and tools of the Maker movement with agile development and human-centered approaches to community projects.

Students will:

  • Learn to create apps and other digital artifacts;
  • Use 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC routers to fabricate physical artifacts;
  • program devices with micro-controllers.
  • Learn design thinking techniques for problem definition, ideation,
  • Learn agile development methods for solution development.
  • Experience the power of creating with and for a community.
  • Live Xavier’s Jesuit mission.

The program uses studio-learning with an emphasis on community-engaged projects: each semester students will work with a community partner to work on a project that emphasizes aspects of the curriculum.

Human-Centered Making emphasizes Xavier’s Jesuit Ignatian principles as students learn the importance of empathy in understanding the needs of others. This deeper understanding in turn provides a context for grappling with Xavier’s liberal arts core.

In the words of Peter-Hans Kolvenbach: “Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering, and engage it constructively.”

Where’s Gary, Fall 2014?

The common understanding of “literacy” has narrowed down to reading and writing, but when the term emerged in the Renaissance it had a much broader meaning as a mastery of the available means of expression.

The purpose of bringing tool-making back into the house is not to recreate the hardships of frontier living … it’s to put control of the creation of technology back in the hands of its users.

– Neil Gershenfeld, Fab (2005)

Let’s spend a semester turning tool-making, programming and design into the heart of a liberal arts education.

Try, Try again