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Whitman Receives Gift to Bring Designer-in-Residence for New Human-Centered Design Concentration

Katie Krummeck ’03 leads a human-centered design activity.

Whitman College students in the new Human-Centered Design (HCD) concentration will have access to additional experts thanks to a generous $100,000 gift from the Lawrence Parke Murphy Trust. This gift to the college’s Upward Together campaign will fund an exciting designer-in-residence program beginning in the 2024–2025 academic year. 

Janet Davis stands smiling in front of trees“We envision that the designer-in-residence program will enliven the HCD concentration with stories, perspectives and design problems from beyond the classroom,” says Janet Davis, Microsoft Chair of Computer Science and Co-Director of the HCD Concentration. “Designers-in-residence will help students and faculty build their professional networks, fill gaps with respect to technical and business skills, and maintain an ‘of the moment’ connection to current issues in industry.”

Together with Whitman faculty, designers-in-residence will teach students to understand and apply best practices for design processes that can positively impact community, culture and the environment:

  • Empathize —> Understand the need
  • Frame —> Define the problem
  • Brainstorm —> Generate possibilities
  • Prototype —> Model solutions
  • Evaluate —> Test and share/solicit feedback
  • Iterate —> Revise and improve

Designers-in-residence will participate in most aspects of the HCD program, including teaching in the upper-level capstone course, evaluating portfolios and offering workshops for students. They will provide students with intense, in-depth experiences with a variety of approaches to design. 

During the 2023–2024 year, funds from the Lawrence Parke Murphy Trust are supporting the involvement of HCD consultant Katie Krummeck ’03, who introduced the wider Whitman community to this specialty during her innovative and virtual Commencement speech in May 2020. Krummeck, an international leader in educational design with the Lemelson Foundation, is working with HCD concentration faculty to develop the program. 

The concentration’s highly anticipated kickoff course, Intro to Human-Centered Design (HCD 101), launches in the Spring 2024 semester and will be co-taught by Davis and Associate Professor of Art and HCD Co-Chair Justin Lincoln. The gift from the Lawerence Parke Murphy Trust will fund the first three years of the designer-in-residence.

Upward Together: The Campaign for Whitman launched on campus on October 12, 2023.  The campaign has raised $157 million to date toward a $200 million goal.

About Lawrence Parke Murphy

​​Lawrence Parke Murphy was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin. He often visited relatives in Walla Walla during his youth, and later returned to attend Whitman College, graduating in 1946 with a degree in chemistry. Murphy was proud of his time at Whitman, his involvement with Sigma Chi, and graduating Phi Beta Kappa. 

In 1949, Murphy received degrees from the University of Washington in English Literature and Library Science. He later moved to New York City, where he pursued a doctorate in English Literature. Subsequently, he spent the majority of his career at the New York Public Library. 

Murphy met his long-term companion Robert Goldstein in the early 1970's, and the two shared a rich and happy life together filled with common interests including literature, music, theater, gourmet cooking and entertaining. 

The Lawrence Parke Murphy Trust, which now supports the educational mission of Whitman College, was established following Murphy's passing in 2010.

Published on Jan 12, 2024
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