Valuing Radical Diversity

What if the people who design and build our technological future included members of radically diverse groups, instead of the comparatively like-minded research scientists and product designers who typically drive the work in these fields? What new directions might we open up, and what kinds of beneficial use cases might we discover? The Digital Future Lab (DFL) at the University of Washington Bothell approaches creative and speculative projects from a radically diverse team perspective, where radical means expanding our common notions of diversity to include neurodiversity and other kinds of differences.

Combining Industry and the Academy

Many of our game experiences are initially designed as research projects, such as our long-term project to develop simple game-based teaching materials that support introductory programming classes. We discovered, however, that as we added more diversity to the research team — pushing beyond what conventional wisdom would consider practical limitations — the creative process took remarkably unexpected turns, and the experiences felt unique and compelling. The lab’s pipeline now includes a seamless flow of ideas between research and commercial development teams.