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design thinking in action


the bat

/|\^•,•^/|\ North American bats are in serious trouble. Since 2007 more than five million of them have been killed by a disease called white-nose syndrome. Caused by the white fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, white-nose syndrome infects the skin of a bat’s muzzle, tail, ears, and wings while they are hibernating. Infected bats wake up prematurely and burn through their fat stores too quickly to survive the rest of the winter.¹ The resulting decrease in bat population can cause problems in agriculture and other human endeavors. Whether eating mosquitoes or acting as pollinators, bats are a crucial part of our ecosystem. That’s why the College of Design’s designer-in-residence, Kelly Munson, asked faculty members and design students to help her raise awareness about the difficulties bats face, by rebranding the bat. “To me, design has always had one foot in the scientific world and one foot in the emotional world. Today it seems that designers are the perfect people to take intimidating data and translate it into something that people can understand and really start caring about.” Read the interview: ¹ “White-nose Syndrome and Minnesota’s Bats,” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Photo by Mikaela Armstrong and Kellen Renstrom. Bathouse by Mihee Kim and Tessa Portuese..




Emerging Magazine > Fall 2017  

Stories about alumni, students, and faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Design.