Student Spotlight: Chris Karounos

1. What brought you to the Shapiro Design Lab? I was first introduced to the Shapiro Design Lab two years ago when the director, Justin Schell, served as my mentor for a U-M Library mini-grant project. Justin’s mentorship of our misfit group of wide-eyed, wanna-be social entrepreneurs was nothing short of pivotal to keeping our group together through our first pitch competition, Innovation in Action. In 2017, Justin told me that the next year he would be starting a graduate student residency...

An Underfit Overview of Machine Learning

Machine learning is changing the world around us and it will continue to dramatically shape our future. Complex computer algorithms are slowly starting to define our interactions with vehicles, social media, and Netflix. That’s right, even the shows Netflix recommends for you are, in part, the result of a complex machine learning algorithm. Despite the omnipresence of machine learning in the world around us, the mystique that surrounds these two words is palpable. Many people forfeit trying...

Mapping Access

Imagine you slipped on a wet floor and fractured your feet. The doctor recommends you not to exert any pressure on your feet for the next 2 months. You still have classes to attend, assignments to submit and exams to write in these 2 months. You decide to stay strong and be brave enough to continue to go to school, instead of skipping the whole semester. On your first day of class after the accident, you reach to your school only to realize that your class is on the third floor and the lift is...

Life With/in Digital Objects Symposium

In an age where everything is digital—from the ways we communicate to grocery shopping—it is not only a challenge, but also irresponsible to not consider the digital in design. While the concept of design is inherently innovative, it quickly becomes obsolete if it does not enhance or complement the lives of those who the design is intended for. Design that has not been tested or piloted in a digital environment is not trusted to be built. But does it mean to design digitally if not simply that...

Practicing Art with Your Left Brain

One of the best ways to decompress after a long week is to do something that you really enjoy, even if it is for an hour. The workshop I attended this month was doing just that. The ArtEco club at the School for Environment and Sustainability offered a photography and sketching workshop. This was a unique opportunity where I was able to work on something that I had forgotten how much I enjoyed doing. With art materials provided and a quick but informative presentation, we dived right into the...

Everyday Security Made Simple

As our world becomes more and more digitized and the amount of information we store about ourselves on the cloud or other online servers grows, it becomes all the more important to ensure that we are equipped with the means to keep this information safe. In a Lynda.com series about protecting the information we store in our digital footprints, Scott Simpson presents viewers with a toolkit covering this topic.

Workshop Q&A: Prototyping Throughout the Design Process

Why did you choose to attend this workshop? The Center for Socially-Engaged Design works with students who want to make a conscious effort to design and engineer for a more sustainable, inclusive, and culturally-accepted future. As a part of BLUElab, I looked into their online programs and came across many workshops that can be done online with an in-person coaching session at the end to complete the training.

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