Kwela Hermanns

Associate Chair of Industrial Design & Design for Sustainability, SCAD

Kwela Hermanns

Kwela Hermanns is an education specialist whose areas of expertise include design research and ethnography, business innovation, design strategy and entrepreneurship. Before joining SCAD, she was in the core faculty of the Amsterdam startup THNK School for Creative Leadership, and co-founder of the Social Innovation Safari and independent Knowmads School. Kwela has held teaching appointments in London, Scotland, the Netherlands and US.

Her academic studies include creative industries, critical and cultural theory, economic methodology, philosophy of science and intellectual property rights. She is a published author on Actor-Network-Theory and has been involved in design related projects for Philips, German Telekom, Volvo, Shell, Shiphol Airport and many European cultural industry clients. Most recently Kwela led the process of pioneering the SCAD / Lextant Certification in Design Research and Insight Translation.

SCAD + Lextant: Partnering to Create a Certification in Upfront Design & User Experience Research

Co-Presenter: Keynote

Wed - Sept 22

Track 2

7:00 pm EDT

In this presentation, Dean Victor Ermoli and Professor Kwela Hermanns of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) along with Marty Gauge and Spencer Murrell from Lextant will share how they collaborated to develop a certification in front-end design and user-experience research. In sharing this story with you, they hope to encourage more collaboration between design educators and design practitioners.

Their goal in the collaboration with Lextant was to ensure that students’ designs are grounded in what people desire; so that as designers, students can create meaningful experiences that have the potential to be successful in the marketplace. Through the certification, students are learning how to systematically approach the first step in the design thinking process: develop empathy. The Lextant approach to this first step centers on defining what people value, in a way that is actionable for design. The certification is supported by a practical guide to front-end design/user experience research, and includes a series of examples and videos devised for specific moments in the curriculum.