67 Things a UC Berkeley MDes Student Should Know


01/15/2021 12:00 am

Yesterday we officially welcomed our first cohort of students to the exciting new UC Berkeley MDes program! As I was reflecting on how to welcome the students and capture my hopes and goals for the MDes program, I recalled American architectural critic, Michael Sorkin’s list of 250 things an architect should know. Building on this as inspiration, I generated a list of the 67 Things a UC Berkeley MDes Student Should Know by the time they complete their degree at Berkeley. This list is very much personal and poetic but after I read it to them I was asked to share it online. I am including it below in hopes it will inspire others and serve as a guide. Be aware that some items are specific to the Berkeley campus and surrounding areas and will not generalize to all geographies. Enjoy!

67 Things a UC Berkeley MDes Student Should Know
why 67?…because 67 is a prime number (which you should also know)
Eric Paulos

  1. When to start using technology
  2. When to stop using technology
  3. How to use a hand tool
  4. How to make a hand tool
  5. How to take things apart
  6. How to listen closely
  7. The percentage of the population living with disabilities
  8. The history of Xerox PARC
  9. Your neighbors
  10. How to get lost
  11. The history of the Ohlone
  12. How the algorithm actually works
  13. How to dérive
  14. Who will benefit
  15. Who will be excluded
  16. The voice that needs to be in the room
  17. What a Smoot is
  18. The contents of the Voyager Golden Record
  19. How to sketch an idea
  20. How to sketch a circuit
  21. What to work on next
  22. Jane Jacobs in and out
  23. That the conversation is not always about you
  24. The history of Stanley Milgram
  25. How social justice effects design
  26. How design effects social justice
  27. When to ignore StackOverflow
  28. How to watch a transit of the International Space Station
  29. How to be an ally against stereotypes
  30. The history of the computer mouse
  31. How to transfer the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it
  32. How to find the original source material
  33. When to be digital
  34. When to be analogue
  35. How much power is required
  36. How to share … without social media
  37. Have a favorite artist
  38. Have a favorite scientist
  39. Have a favorite activist
  40. How to discover the truth
  41. The reason for the first computer game “easter egg”
  42. What data was used to train the algorithm
  43. When to logoff
  44. The best time of year to enjoy a Pluot
  45. How to be an antiracist
  46. How to be tactfully contrarian
  47. How to misuse technology
  48. How to find the limitations of a technology
  49. How to use limitations of a technology as the inspiration for innovation
  50. Embrace problem making
  51. Jerry Lawson
  52. Ed Roberts
  53. The view from the Campanile
  54. The view from the Albany Bulb
  55. Workshop safety
  56. That more than 50% of humanity are women
  57. When to take a walk
  58. How to inspire wonderment
  59. What to refuse to do, even for the money
  60. The exquisite corpse
  61. The wages of workers producing your design
  62. The conditions of workers producing your design
  63. How get to the Morrison Reading Room
  64. That your education is up to you and no one else
  65. What the client can afford
  66. What the planet can afford
  67. The smell of concrete after rain