Design and the National Agenda

Author(s): Papalambros, P.Y., Technical Editor,
Volume: 133(7) - July, 2011

On May 19–20, 2011, the Design Frontiers Symposium: Crossing Boundaries, Creating Disciplines was hosted at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with participants from industry and academia, as an informal forum to discuss and develop ideas and strategies to support design. An organizing theme was the question of whether design is recognized on the national agenda (in the United States but also in other countries) as a vehicle for economic and social progress. Most of the deliberations took place in small group discussions, motivated by some quick idea-generation remarks by a few participants.

The guest editorial in this issue is a summary of such remarks that President James J. Duderstadt shared with the other participants. James Duderstadt is President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. His teaching and research interests have spanned a wide range of subjects in science, mathematics, and engineering, including nuclear fission reactors, thermonuclear fusion, high-powered lasers, computer simulation, information technology, and policy development in areas such as energy, education, and science. He has served on and chaired numerous National Academy and federal commissions including the National Science Board; the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy; the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee; and the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure, and Intelligence Science Board. He currently serves as director of the Millennium Project, a research center exploring the impact of over-the-horizon technologies on society; codirects the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the University of Michigan; and chairs the Division of Policy and Global Affairs of the National Research Council of the National Academies.

I am very pleased to host this guest editorial as a view from someone who does not “profess” design but shares the enthusiasm that our community has in the role of design as a discipline that generates knowledge, innovation, and wealth.

Guest Editorial