About Don Norman




Updated June 5, 2023

Past Events that can be viewed online are listed at the very end of this schedule. Conferences, Etc.

September 14, 2023 (By video)

Usability & User Experience in Germany (UIG) e.V.


July 9, 2023 (Tijuana, Mexico. In person)

2 - 4 PM: Conversation at SALAA, Tijuana, Mexico.

September 22, 2023 (Singapore. In person)

Singapore Design Thinking | UX conference

September 26, 2023 (Shanghai, China. In person)

World Design Cities Conference (WDDC)

October 9-13, 2023 (Milan, Italy. In person)

International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2023)

Milan, Italy (https://www.iasdr2023.polimi.it/)

October 19-20, 2023 (Oslo, Norway. In person)

Y Oslo conference

Oslo, Norway. https://www.y-oslo.com/speakers/

November 8, 2023 (by video)

University of California, San Diego Osher talk (for the community)

Podcasts and talks available for viewing:

Design Matters w/Debbie Millman


Artificiality w/Helen and Dave Edwards.


My discussion section at FLAME University,

Pune India (1 hour)


McKinsey & Company Author Talks:

This includes a transcript of the conversation as well as selected video sections.


Discussion with Bob Kozma about our two books

Bob's book is "Make the World a Better Place: Design with Passion, Purpose, and Values". His book and my DBW book are very similar in spirit, so they strengthen and reinforce one another. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7063645482488627201/

World Design Capital for 2024

In 2014, when I started the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, I wanted to build the design community of San Diego. The first step was to find the design community, because every designer we encountered stated that there were only a few designers in the area. Well, we found thousands. But obviously, they were not organized, so together with my Associate Director, Michèle Morris, we organized two major meetings of all designers in the area plus civic leaders and started a non-profit organization, the Design Forward Alliance (DFA) to help bring the design community together.

We also needed a compelling framework and vision, one that would set up this region as a premier spot for design. After all, how could we build a world-class Design Lab unless the city itself was a world-class center for design? A friend, Srini Srinivasan, President of the World Design organization, suggested we apply to become the World Design Capital (WDC), an official designation awarded by the World Design Organization every two years, but one that required a massive endeavor. I had attended a design event in Torino, Italy when it was the first WDC. And I was teaching at KAIST in Korea when Seoul became WDC, and a fellow faculty member of KAIST became vice-mayor of Seoul to help create the event. And I had visited Mexico City with the people organizing its program for WDC. So yes, we should also become WDC.

DFA and the UCSD Design lab led the project. It took over 7 years to gather the people and ideas required to write the proposal, but finally, with a huge team of committed, energetic people, we submitted a proposal to make two cities the World Design Capital: San Diego and Tijuana. (WDO said no, that was not permitted, but we did it anyway.) designers, foundations, civic leaders, and the mayors of both San Diego and Tijuana created a massive campaign and an impressive proposal to make the San Diego/Tijuana region become the designated World Design Capital for 2024 (WDC).

A huge team of dedicated people was involved, but let me single out Michèle Morris, Associate Director of the Design Lab and Scott Robinson, President of DFA for leading the effort. (See https://home2024.com/)

A Book: Design for a Better World

Just before, during, and after COVID, the world exploded in many ways, most especially the fight for equity among the many diverse groups of the world, the economic disparities between the wealthy and everyone else, between power relationships, plus of course, the major disruption in lives caused by the pandemic.

All my design books had focussed upon making things easier to understand and use. Making them more enjoyable and effective. That’s nice, but it doesn’t change the world. I decided it was time for me to take a wider view of design, to use it to make the world into a better place. I spent a lot of time learning. I found many groups doing wonderful work to try to remedy the biases and prejudices that existed throughout the world. I talked to many different communities who felt disempowered. I tried to understand what role I could play.

I realized that my expertise was as an educator through my students and books. My skills were in the domain of the interaction of people and technology. After years of thought and multiple false starts, I produced a book:

Design for a Better World:
How to create a meaningful, sustainable, and humanity-centered future.

2023. MIT Press

This website tells about the book in the BOOK section, including sample chapters. The website dbw.jnd.org contains extra resources for those who wish to join the effort to Make a Better World.

And More to come

And yes, I am planning another big activity, one I consider important to those in the design community who have been inspired by the DBW book and who are involved in projects relevant to the goals of the book. (It’s a big project, so it will take a while to develop, so don’t expect any announcement before the end of 2023.)