Design Studio 1: Pandemic Los Angeles 2030

Professor: Lewis
Units: 2
Elective Course
Concentration: Social and Behavioral Sciences

We live in a world that is hyper-connected globally, rapidly changing, and radically contingent. In this world, we are increasingly confronted by problems that are not solvable in any traditional sense because they are dynamic problem environments that change as you work on them. These problems are multi-disciplinary, socio-technical systems problems that cross-cut dimensions and physical boundaries. They are national and international problems that play out locally. In a design studio format, this course will develop skills around and provide a framework of science, complex systems theory, and design, for understanding, unpacking, and working on the problem of “Responding to a Pandemic in Los Angeles 2030: Design studio on a complex problem around health and national security.”

Cities continue to grow rapidly driven by many factors. At the same time they are becoming increasingly diverse, challenging equitable functioning across urban populations. Growing cities create growing public health challenges. The spread of an infectious disease through human populations, especially in densely populated areas, is a significant concern to American national security. An acknowledgement of the importance of public health risks drove the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization of 2013 and strengthening of a robust U.S. National Health Security Strategy and implementation efforts.

This studio will take on the problem of preparing for and responding to a pandemic in Los Angeles in 2030. It will use various methods to unpack the complexity of the problem and to create a framework for resiliency and response. These methods will blend complex systems theory, analytical approaches, and design frameworks, such as “world-building” to understand the complexity and challenges to public health of a Los Angeles 15 years in the future. It will also explore current and future approaches, technologies, and policy options to strengthen the building of robust, resilient local communities as well as integrating responses from local, state, and federal stakeholders. The course will pull in subject matter experts from many organizations, including the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as well as from the United States Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Taught over winter and spring quarters. (Policy Analysis course)