CARISSA CARTER

Director of teaching and learning, D.School, Stanford University, Stanford CA
STANFORD'S DESIGN THINKER

FACTS

LEADING THE D.SCHOOL's TEACHING & LEARNING TEAM

Leading the d.school’s Teaching + Learning team which designs curriculum and courses for our 1000+ students per year.  Teaching courses on data and design, maps, and design for climate change. Advancing the discipline of design thinking through design and curricular projects with faculty, teaching fellows, and Stanford students. She teaches courses on maps and mapping, design synthesis, and introductions to design process.

MEMBER OF THE CORE TEAM OF STANFORD2025

Designing the future of higher education with Stanford2025: 2025.stanford.edu.

PRESIDENT OF PARALLELDESIGN LAB

Paralleldesign Labs offers human-centered design and innovation services for organizations.

BIOGRAPHY

Is there anything as exciting as unrolling a large paper map onto a thick, wooden table in a high-vaulted, cool, crisp space? Weighting the corners and spreading the document flat with bare hands makes a satisfying tuft of air that smells like knowledge spring out in anticipation. The data on the map is as much of a treat as the experience of its setup on the table.

 

Carissa loves sensory experiences, whether complex or simple, and she spends her time designing, teaching, and curating them. When she’s at the d.school, she works on the @Stanford Project, focused on designing the university experience of 2020. She thrives off of smart colleagues and students, and also enjoys coaching and creating content for the Executive Education program.

 

When she’s in her garage, Carissa is building. Lately she’s been screen printing puzzles and blocks, making skateboards, and crafting children’s furniture.

When she’s working with clients at Parallel Design Labs, she’s helping them build and execute their internal innovation training programs or running user research studies.

 

When it’s 6:06pm, Carissa takes a photograph. It’s been three years and counting.
Carissa’s first career was as a geologist. She studied glaciers in Alaska and steep slot canyons in Utah and Arizona and continues to pursue projects at the crossover between design and science. Maps, and the experiences they create, have been a thread through the whole journey.

 

Carissa has a BA in Geoscience from Williams College, an MS in Earth Sciences from UC Santa Cruz, and an MS in Product Design from Stanford Universit