Kristin Hughes, designer and educator, works with members of at-risk communities to address complex social problems. Since no one discipline holds the ultimate solution for such problems, Kristin honed a community-engagement model of design during her 15 years of practice. Her model generates solutions by fusing the expertise and passion of community members and leaders across disciplines including education, health care, fine arts, and public policy.

In her talk, Kristin will share stories and insights from these collaborations, as well as other formative experiences that drove her development of an approach to problem-solving that finds its success by directly engaging community members in each step of the design process. Her stories will illustrate the amazing results that occur when you treat each participant like the expert they are and invite the exchange of skills and know-how among community members as they make decisions and solve vexing problems their communities face every day. And, while the field of design is ever changing, broader lessons can be learned about ways of envisioning systems that foster new relationships and collaborations between these various constituents, resulting in new networks and communities of design practice.