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FAST 48 VIII Scheduled For November 10-12, Open For Registration

FAST 48 VIII scheduled for November 10-12, open for registration

FAST 48 is an immersive boot camp to cultivate mindsets and practical skills in human-centered design (HCD). It’s designed for graduate students, scholars, and professionals— scientists, artists, teachers, health promoters, business owners, non-profit directors, administrators. We welcome a diverse group of participants hailing from New Orleans, across the country, and around the world.

Over a fast-paced 48 hours –spanning  from Friday 6 PM to Sunday 6 PM– learn the mindsets of human-centered design in a context of social innovation—the pursuit of relevant and novel solutions to persistent societal problems. Some of the design mindsets and practical tools you will learn include convergent/divergent thinking, design team management, group synthesis, solo ideation, group brainstorming, parallel rapid prototyping, and user feedback capture.

Coaches guide teams through two design cycles over the weekend and teach specific methods. Lead instructors are Máille Faughnan, Laura Murphy, and Jordan Stewart, joined by Taylor design thinking student fellows and other coaches from Taylor staff, Fast 48 Alum, and the local design-thinking community.

Our Partner, PlayBuild NOLA

We are excited to be partnering once again with PlayBuild New Orleans, a Central City-based non-profit organization “on a mission to transform under-utilized urban spaces into exciting kid-friendly environments for play and learning”. PlayBuild is an official Taylor Center partner, supporting engaged learning across our curriculum and via extra-curricular programs.

Our Fast 48 helps them address real problems they face—problems faced by many non-profit and community-oriented institutions– and it will support YOU learning design thinking through real, on the ground, immersive field research, team-based synthesis and creative and insightful idea-generation, rapid prototyping and testing with relevant users.

Previous Fast 48 workshops have helped PlayBuild expand and improve their volunteer recruitment, community outreach and neighborhood engagement, and to extend programs from their fixed site (Thalia Street) to a median on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Fast 48 teams helped PlayBuild win a Kaboom “Play Everywhere” award, and tested the “Uni” movable play-station in neutral grounds and festivals.

Why take it? Take the Fast 48 to learn desirable skills in creative, collaborative problem-solving. Join a network of people with common interests in using these approaches to generate new, relevant solutions to real problems, here and around the world, in education, health, environment, urban design, humanitarian disasters, and more. Fast 48 alum are right now working in Uganda, Peru, Pakistan, and throughout the US—including many in New Orleans–to expand creative, system-aware, lower-cost problem-solving approaches to improve lives and make the world a better place. Enrich your Changemaker toolkit! Boost your resume with skills recognized by non-profit aid agencies, private sector, foundations and governments.

If you did the Fast 48 before, consider joining us as a field-based or team-coach to advance your skills. Please get in touch to discuss how this works. 

To sign up: Send an email to Laura Murphy with this information in the body of the email: your name, background, where you are from in the world; your academic degree program/ or organization and position. Please share your reasons for seeking to join the Fast 48 and any previous exposure to human-centered design. Include alternate email addresses and cellphone contacts. We will send you to an Eventbrite link to pay the non-refundable fee of $60 (up to 2 weeks before the event). The fee rises to $75 (last 2 weeks). This is an amazing

deal, as the fee covers food, drinks, supplies, materials and coaching for the whole weekend.


The FAST 48 starts Friday 6 PM – 9 PM (Taylor), then runs all day Saturday (roughly 8 AM to 5 PM) and Sunday from noon to about 6 PM. This is basically a 3-day mini-course (not-for credit) that you will plan to attend in full (not a conference to pop into and out of). If you seek academic credit, talk to Prof. Murphy. Please plan to attend the whole event. Check your calendar and be sure you can make all of it.


Training activities will take place at Taylor Center Design Studio (Howard Tilton Memorial Library), as well as (on Saturday morning) in Central City neighborhoods near/around PlayBuild. We can help coordinate transportation for those who lack motorized vehicles.

Note: TAYLOR CENTER is moving! From mid-August we will be located on the 4th floor of Howard Tilton Memorial Library (HTML) on Tulane’s main uptown campus. Come check out our new facilities!

Still have questions? Write to Laura Murphy,

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