College of Design at TEDxUOregon: 3D Printing and Bite-Sized Rhetoric

May 23, 2019

Speakers at TEDxUOregonPPPM Associate Professor Renée Irvin and Architecture student Renee Dobre presenting at TEDxUOregon

Two members of the College of Design community gave talks at the 2019 TEDxUOregon event this spring: Renée Irvin, PPPM associate professor and director of the Master in Nonprofit Management program, and Renee Dobre, a fourth-year undergraduate architecture student. The talks are now available individually (see videos below).

Irvin, who is also an economist, presented “Introducing the Micro-Narrative: Six tricks from the linguists.” A micronarrative, she explained, is a little piece of speech or text that lodges in the public’s collective memory, citing examples such as “It’s the economy, stupid” or “death panels.” These snippets can persuade people to buy items they don’t need or vote against their own economic self-interests.

“The more I looked into how stories influence economic decision making the less convinced I was that it’s truly an overall story that drives behavior,” Irvin said. “Rather what surfaces time and again are short punchy phrases that spark a turning point in the policy process, a turning point where suddenly an idea catches hold and creates a permanent public opinion supporting or opposing a policy.”

Dobre gave the talk “3D Printing for Everyone,” in which she advocates for a wider adoption of the technology. She imagines a world where these printers could be used like fax machines once were, and you could send print designs to loved ones.

“3D printers are capable of building almost anything. This can include buildings, prosthetic limbs, body parts, shoes, fabrics, and even candy,” Dobre explained. “NASA is working with architects to create theoretical shelters that would be 3D-printed on Mars.”