Tad Hirsch is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Visiting Professorship for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University and Professor of Art + Design at Northeastern University where he specializes in the practice and study of design for social change. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has exhibited creative works at The Museum of Modern Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Pompidou Center, MassMoCA, and The New Museum. His design work has won awards from the Interaction Design Association, the Industrial Design Society of America, Prix Ars Electronica, and the Design Ignites Change Idea Awards.
Professor Hirsch received his BA in Philosophy from Vassar College, his MDes in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was previously faculty at the University of Washington and worked in research labs at Intel and Motorola. He has also founded two startups focusing on machine learning and mental health. Professor Hirsch has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Research and Quality and has received commissions from the Frye Art Museum, the Aldridge Museum of Contemporary Art, and Rhizome.
What will students be able to take away from your classes?
My course -- EGR/ENT 495 -- explores design as a mechanism for social critique. Through scholarly analysis and hands-on design projects, students create compelling design proposals that challenge assumptions and provoke reflection and discourse around a variety of pressing social issues. This course should be of particular interest to students who wish to explore social and ethical dimensions of technology and product development, and to students who are interested in creative and arts-based approaches to social commentary and political activism.
What attracted you to the Keller Center?
I'm attracted to the Keller Center's mission of creating social impact through design. This has been the primary focus over my entire career, and its wonderful to find a place where these values are so deeply entrenched. I'm particularly excited by the opportunity to bring engineering and design together with rigorous humanities thinking -- to me, this has been the missing piece in the so-called "design for good" movement over the past two decades. I think the Keller Center and Princeton are uniquely positioned to create something truly special that can advance the field and help address the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time.