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Dana Ragouzeos

Assistant Professor, San Jose State University

Dana Ragouzeos

Dana Ragouzeos is an Assistant Professor in the Design Department at San Jose State University. She also works as a product and service designer with health care organizations across the country as the Design Director for Aspen Labs. Dana has worked within Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and UCSF on design projects ranging from the patient symptom dashboards to the prototyping of new hospital spaces and adaptive furniture. She has developed iconography and data visualization for patient education, implemented system-wide employee recognition platforms, and developed multimedia educational materials on the delivery of equitable gender-based and gender-affirming care. Dana received her BA in Architecture from Smith College and MFA in Industrial + Interaction Design from CCA. In addition to SJSU, Dana has taught classes on Interaction Design, Design Research, Information Design, Game Design, and Health Care Design at Cal State East Bay, UC Berkeley, and California College of the Arts.

Form Follows Fun

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group A

August 25, 2023

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Presenting with Kohar Scott, IDSA

The integration of semi-structured games and play into design education prepares students for future success by giving them a chance to feel experimentation, curiosity, and failure in a low-risk environment, experience collaborative decision-making within clear constraints, and build cognitive recall and creative resilience. This is especially true with diverse student populations, where many students are under-represented in their chosen design field or lack a financial or social safety net, and for whom the popular advice to “embrace failure” feels dissonant. This case study describes the use of play and games in the design class setting to go beyond surface-level “gamification,” supporting community, confidence, and camaraderie. Examples include the use of gameplay to teach manufacturing processes, design research methods, and design concept refinement.

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