It was curiosity—and potentially the promise of a new computer—that initially drew Patrick Multani to design...but it hasn’t been products that have kept him interested in the field. Instead, it’s the opposite. Patrick loves how design can inspire ideas and create change. He’s working to help rethink and shape the future of education—and serving as a mentor and community lead with Designlab is part of his journey.
For Patrick Multani, education and design have always been intertwined. As a middle school student in Germany, Patrick’s friends received computers after completing internships at a local digital agency. With their new computers, Patrick’s friends were editing photographs and making graphics. Patrick’s interest in design was piqued, and he enrolled in a specialized high school focused on media design.
When it came time to choose a major in college, Patrick studied industrial design for one year, but quickly realized it wasn’t the right fit. “Working in a workshop was something I didn’t expect.” Patrick wasn’t naturally drawn to working to make precise prototypes and learn the ins and outs of materials. He stumbled upon an informational meeting about concept design, which is “focused on human-centered design and design processes inspired by Stanford’s d.school.” It was the perfect area to explore his interests—design and education.
He worked with a company to produce a mobile education application for his thesis project. He was inspired by how education could look when “everyone had a mobile phone” globally and could easily share their knowledge. The company he partnered with loved his concept, but his professors, steeped in academia, were resistant to the reality of democratizing education.
Despite the radically different feedback, Patrick was hooked. He’s still working on educational applications. “I think it’s the best investment in the future,” he says, “It’s the reason I’m interested in Designlab.”