What is Life Design?
Drawing from the fields of career education, psychology, and design thinking, Life Design is a creative, iterative, human-centered problem-solving methodology that can be applied to navigate change and transition throughout life.
Here at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, our approach to life design is focused on changemaking, the belief that individuals in any position can work toward positive social change. We teach life design as a tool for students to navigate their transition from college to the working world, but life design can be applied to any arena you wish to explore and change in life.
Our life design offerings at Tulane University include the undergraduate courses Taylor Your Tulane (for first-year students) and Taylor Your Life , as well as a 5-week life design workshop series for graduate and doctoral, TYL4Grads.
If you are an educator interested in bringing Life Design Education to your school, campus, or classroom, we have made our Taylor Your Life Educator Materials free to educators worldwide. Our life design curricula is created and led by Julia Lang.
Taylor Your Tulane: For First Year College Students
I came into this semester not having any idea of what I wanted to do and not really informing myself of what I had opportunity to do…now, all my thoughts have become more organized.
I have a sense of where I am going [and that] I was technically the only thing holding me back from a lot of opportunities.
Taylor Your Life: For Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors
Taylor Your Life has altered my perception of the job search process intensely and even of life planning in general, outside of the workplace.
The curriculum emphasized the importance of being open to new opportunities and doing what truly speaks to you instead of simply doing what you or other people believe you should do.
Taylor Your Life: For Graduate Students
The Life Design Graduate Assistant will work together with Taylor Center staff to communicate, promote, support, and expand meaningful life design programming at Tulane University.
Resources for Educators
Interested in bringing Life Design Education to your school, campus, or classroom?
The Taylor Your Life curriculum is free to educators interested in using design thinking to map “changemaking” career tracks.
Life Design Education News
Life Design Education Program Team Members
Learning from Leaders in Life Design Education
TAYLOR Your Life was created after conducting extensive research in the field on best practices and current trends in innovative career development curriculum creation, including:
- Thought leaders from a variety of fields. Click here for a snapshot of materials embedded in our classes (includes readings, videos, and podcasts)
- Designing Your Life, the book co-written by professors of the most popular elective at Stanford University (Burnett & Evans, 2016)
- How to Get Any Job, Donald Asher
- How to Land Your Dream Job Right Out of College by Networking Like A Rockstar, Jaymin Patel
- Radical Acceptance, a mindfulness text (Brach, 2014)
- Net Impact’s Career Development Program for undergraduate and graduate students
- The Echoing Green and Ashoka U award winning Transformative Action Institute, which has been used at over 50 campuses including Harvard, Stanford and UCLA, (Sherman, 2015)
- The Ashoka U award winning Work on Purpose curriculum from Echoing Green.
We redesigned our curriculum in 2020 to intentionally center diverse voices and create a more equitable and inclusive curriculum. Read more about our curriculum redesign and see an overview of TYL curriculum.