Here at Modernist Studio, we create products that solve problems for real people. We also believe in humanizing design, and that requires educating people about the way our process works in a scalable way. It’s doesn’t always come easy, but it’s a process that often transforms the way businesses approach and execute on new ideas.
We also focus on sparking a new way of thinking for those interested in design strategy, interaction design, service design and product management through courses, trainings and bootcamps. This industry is growing like never before, and it’s up to us to ensure the next generation is equipped to think like a designer, ready to solve new challenges.
The hardest part is knowing where to start, which is why Modernist Studio’s Jon Kolko has written six books that cover a variety of topics – from shaping a design mindset to best practices for design educators. And as part of Modernist Studio’s commitment to educating the design community, we have taken steps to ensure that these resources are as affordable as possible. Two of his books are offered online for free and are great resources for those looking to dive in:
How I Teach: Reflecting on fifteen years in design strategy
Published January 2018
“I’ve taught design for 15 years, and when I started teaching, I felt very much like I was doing it wrong, and everyone would find out.
Over time, I learned how to teach by building on the work of other great professors and through informed trial and error.
This book captures what I’ve learned along the way – how to teach design, but more simply, how to teach. It will be useful for new professors and adjunct instructors who are just starting out. Creative directors will also find value in leveraging these approaches as they build out training for their internal teams. And, individual designers can utilize the methods and processes described here as they evolve their skills and advance their practice.”
Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving
Published March 2012
“It feels like our world is spinning out of control. We see poverty, disease, and destruction all around us, and as we search for ways to make sense of the chaos, we’re turning to new disciplines for answers and solutions. New, creative innovations are needed, and these new approaches demand different methods and different theories. This book is presented as a handbook for teaching and learning how to design for impact. In it, you’ll learn how to apply the process of design to large, wicked problems, and how to gain control over complexity by acting as a social entrepreneur. You’ll learn an argument for why design is a powerful agent of change, and you’ll read practical methods for engaging with large-scale social problems.”
We’re in the business of solving problems and that means finding effective, accessible ways to communicate what works and what doesn’t in design, and our lessons learned along the way. We believe these publications have the potential to shift the way we approach design education and, ultimately, the way we approach future challenges in the field.