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Building New Bridges: San Diego and Tijuana’s Combined Bid Breaks Down Barriers to Bi-National Cooperation

Building New Bridges: San Diego and Tijuana’s Combined Bid Breaks Down Barriers to Bi-National Cooperation

As dusk hovered over The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park on October 3 at the ‘Welcome Home, Bienvenido a Casa’ event, reflections off the San Diego Bay illuminated an evening of excited anticipation more than five years in the making. Will the San Diego-Tijuana megaregion take home the win in their bid to be the 2024 World Design Capital? Or will it be their competitors, Moscow?

Hosting the event and spearheading the San Diego-Tijuana bid initiative is the interorganizational collaboration of Design Forward Alliance, UC San Diego Design Lab and the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, with the full support of the City of San Diego and City of Tijuana and regional elected officials. This collective was created to amplify San Diego’s capacity as a global leader in human-centered design-driven innovation. The combined communities of art, culture, business, education, civic and design worked together in a multi-year, multi-national collaboration culminating in this night of solidarity for the joint-effort to win the coveted World Design Capital designation—a year-long city promotion program that would begin in 2024 and put the region on the global stage as a world-class innovator of economic, social, cultural and environmental design solutions for a better society.

“It’s not just about gaining the World Design Capital title,” said the Director of The Design Lab, Mai Thi Nguyen. “It’s about how we actually want to contribute and collaborate on multidisciplinary design innovation throughout the region, nationally and globally.”

Be on your best behavior: San Diego is being judged this week

By Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego and Tijuana are throwing a party for just one man this week, and you’ve probably never heard his name.

Montreal native Bertrand Derome, managing director of the World Design Organization, is getting the red carpet treatment across two nations as the cities vie for the title of World Design Capital.

The award means a global spotlight on the region and lots of free advertising. Selected every two years, the Montreal-based World Design Organization picks a different city as its “capital.” Some previous winners have been Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town and Mexico City. San Diego and Tijuana decided to apply together as a binational region.

The festivities started Sunday night with a jazz concert, light show and chic party for Derome at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. There were only about 200 people at the event for a venue that can hold 3,500. The $85 million shell on the San Diego Bay opened in August.

“It’s a great city and an amazing venue. I have to say I’m pretty impressed by the design communities that came together,” Derome said at the event.
sd design trek ucsd

Design Trek Brings San Diego Design Community Together

This past March, SD Design Trek took students and early-UX career professionals on a three-day showcase of design companies in San Diego to gain a firsthand look at what the local design community has to offer. The March 4 kickoff and showcase took place just down the hall from the Design Lab, in Atkinson Hall’s Auditorium. 

The event commenced with the words of keynote speaker, Amish Desai, who graduated from UCSD in 2003 with a Cognitive Science HCI degree and currently serves as the VP of Experiences at Moonshot. “[The talk] was about being design minded, in terms of design being much more than a craft and is actually a driver for business growth,” he says. “The idea is to instill some lessons I learned in the last 17 years as to why the importance of design is not just beautiful things but is also about doing experiments and making, driving cultural changes, creating experiences, analytics, and having business rigor.”
CHI 2019 conference in Glasgow, Scotland

Design Lab Weaves the Threads of CHI 2019

From May 4-9, 2019, the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems took place in Glasgow, Scotland. Called “CHI” for short, this annual and prominent event brings together thousands of the world’s leading researchers, designers, and scientists in human-computer interaction. 

Design Lab members walked away with a number of awards for their research. Post-doctoral Fellow Sarah Fox won a Best Paper Award for “Managerial Visions: Stories of upgrading and maintaining the public restroom with IoT”.
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