What is Life Design?

In addition to the UCalgary Life Design workshops and hub space, Life Design is also a set of tools that people of all ages use to set realistic goals, break-down unhelpful thoughts and learn how to approach life’s challenges in a constructive way. Learn more about those tools on this webpage.

Welcome to Life Design at UCalgary. Please visit the following pages for information on student programming, booking the Life Design Hub for an event, or for more information about Life Design.

Using Life Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process of problem-solving that involves defining a challenge, generating ideas, prototyping and testing solutions, and implementing the most promising approach. Students can apply design thinking to their lives by following these steps:

  • Define the challenge:  Identify an area of your life that you want to improve or change.  This could be in your career, relationships, health or academic journey.
  • Generate ideas: Brainstorm a list of potential solutions to the challenge you have identified. It can be helpful to brainstorm with others to generate as many ideas a possible.  Don’t worry about evaluating the ideas at this stage.
  • Prototype and test:  Choose one or more of the ideas to try.  A prototype is a rough draft of what a solution might look like in practice. Prototyping should be something that can be done quickly and with minimal resources.
  • Implement and refine: Based on the feedback you receive, refine your prototype and try again.  Continue this process until you have a solution that works.
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What are the goals of Life Design at the University of Calgary?

Post secondary is where students experience many of life’s major milestones. Here, they explore their interests, decide which direction they’d like to take their career, and better understand who they are, and what it is that they want in life.

Learn more about what Life Design has to offer at UCalgary from Victoria Hirsche, Specialist in Life Design and Work Integrated Learning.


Reflections on Life Design


How can Life Design help students to set professional goals?

It’s not uncommon for students to graduate from a different faculty or major than they originally planned. The process of shifting from one career path to another can be challenging for students, as it asks them to reconsider aspects of their identity. Life design helps students connect values and identity to decision making and goal setting to help them identify next steps.

Frameworks like Life Design can help students to fully entertain how different career paths match with the skills, interests, and values that are important to them. Learn about how a Life Design workshop influenced Mihret’s decision in this video.  

How can Life Design help students to set meaningful personal goals?

In addition to wanting to learn skills that will help them in their careers, students will also often ask advisors about how the professional skills that they gain will contribute to their personal lives. Life Design helps to bridge this gap by asking students to map out the ways that a prospective career path can not only help them to achieve professional goals, but also how the tasks, skills and environment can help to build their own sense of self.

Learn about how Life Design helped Fanar to connect her academics with personal goals, and why it was so important to share what she was going through with other students at the workshop.