New Graduate Class (Fall 2015)

Living, Loving, and Dying a Meaningful Life with Others

This year’s themed design challenge, asks us to think about how interactive entertainment can help us make sense of all the small and big things in our lives. The class will be asked to work on three interventions: a board game, an embodied experience for one-time use, and a mobile experience for multiple uses. Each intervention will bring together a different set of experts, consultants, and resources.

Now open for registration!


Updated Bibliography (8/17/2015)

Submit film viewing suggestions here on our IMBD class movie list.

Here is what we propose to work on together:

A shared mobile experience for breast cancer survivors. 

Life after breast cancer is not so simple. Survivor is a word that evokes many thoughts and feelings. Everything changes after a diagnosis, and depending on what your health was like before breast cancer, it can now be even more complicated. Cancer brings about many changes in one’s life and that of one’s social network. Individual and shared experiences of cancer change our brains, bodies, and minds. Managing recovery and survival is a complicated cognitive, emotional, and physical task. Could a mobile experience help cancer survivors and their loved ones move away from surviving and into living? What could that experience be? How can this change be measured?

A board game about secret loves and pleasures. 

We can’t really choose who we love, or what gives us pleasure, or where we find our greatest inspiration. What we can do is share our secrets and create a shared experience that can help us have the difficult conversations that we could not otherwise have. Inspired by and honoring LGBTQ heritage and its allies, we seek to celebrate all of the things, people, and places that we love. We will design a board game about “coming out” on everything that matters to us. Could sharing what we love bring us closer together? How can we measure empathy, compassion, and closeness though such an experience?

An embodied experience about legacy and resilience.

Nobody wants to talk about dying, but it is the only event in our lives that cannot be prevented. Nobody wants to really think about getting sick, death, or one’s funeral, but doing so can help people prioritize what matters. The palliative care movement brought more than choices about dying into our lives: it helped people learn to recognize what matters to them and how they want to live their last week, month, year, decade or second half of life. Dying, just like living, is a shared experience. How you perceive your own life and the stories you tell and leave behind to others can change what feels like a tragedy into a celebration. What are the ingredients of a life well lived and can we teach that to others through an embodied experience? How do we measure a life well lived?


Our current partners:

USC mHealth Collaboratory

USC Institute for Integrative Health

The Lavender Effect

…and more!

Challenges may need to change to adapt to new resources in Fall 2015.