AgExtensionModels

I am continuing to build my body of research on University-based Venture Incubators/Centers for Innovation by interviewing Directors of the various programs. I sat down with Neil Kleinman, the Director of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts, to talk about how he started the Center. He shared great insight into how got it off the ground, but I was particularly struck by a concept that he casually brushed over–Agricultural Extension Services. He said that it was a model that he was intrigued by, and had been toying around with how the idea might apply to the field of design. Although that was the extent of our conversation about it, I continued to look into what an Agricultural Extension Service is and how it operates. What I found was a concept deeply rooted in history, with a model that is still prevalent and evolving today. In my research, I read about the "Four Paradigms of Agricultural Extension," and the "how" and "why" communication take place in the different models. I have captured these in a graphic, below, as well as highlighted the model that I feel most closely parallels our human-centered design methodologies. As I begin to build a new model for a university-based center in an area that is familiar with Agricultural Extension Services, I plan to incorporate this visual as a tool for relating unfamiliar design methodologies to something familiar and already widely accepted.

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