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)
by
Eric Paulos

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

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Eric Paulos

Eric Paulos

Artist • UC Berkeley Professor of Computer Science • Roboticist • Inventor • Instigator