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Meet the 2015 Summer Instructors: Katie Koch

A few quick questions with Katie Koch, summer instructor for our new Summer Immersion Program in Interaction Design for high school students.


meet the 2015 summer instructors katie koch 1

Katie Koch is a designer and teacher in Brooklyn. As Design Director at American Express, Katie leads a team creating experiences that meet the needs of people traditionally underserved by financial institutions. Katie is also the co-founder of Project: Interaction, an after-school program that teaches interaction design to high school students. We caught up with Kati to learn what she’s excited for this summer.

Tell us something about your summer course we might not expect based on its course description.Students living in NYC have a tremendous advantage when it comes to learning interaction design. They live in a city filled with products, services and experiences that are constantly changing their relationship with the environment around them. Students in the summer immersive will have a chance to turn their problem solving lens on the city all around them and focus on a problem that directly impacts their lives.

What will students be making or working on in your class this year? Students will work for one week to investigate a problem and use the design process to come up with an interactive solution. We’ll be working with design research methods, storytelling and sketching, and we’ll use product and service frameworks to shape our ideas into a meaningful and actionable outcome.

Got a good book or article recommendation for people interested in the course?IDEO’s Human-Centered Design Toolkit is a great start for this kind of thinking. And though the context is quite different, I love Leah Buley’s The User Experience Team of One. The book is all about hacking traditional UX methods to fit your team. I love this concept when it comes to translating formal interaction design practices to a high school audience.

What are you excited for in NYC this summer (aside from the summer intensive)?The food! Summer meals are meant to be eaten outside. I love any meal that comes without utensils, be it seafood, tacos, bbq, ice cream, or whatever new combination of cuisines a NYC food entrepreneur comes up with next.

What are you working on these days?I’m working on a few little projects outside of work. I have a small obsession with waste systems in the city and trying to figure out what to do about it. I’m always tinkering with my own website, and also I’m learning French!

To learn more about the program, visit the Summer Immersion in Interaction Design. 

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