Design Learning Challenge 2011
“In addition to a greater appreciation for teachers and passion for reforming education, we have learned many things. We have gained extensive experience in action research; understanding action research takes time and patience and is never over. We also have realized that some schools have actually implemented the integration of design into the high school experience. We have also gained valuable knowledge from many different perspectives, student, teacher, designer, educator and administrator, which helped us formulate new knowledge and new insights that evolved into innovation.“
Winners of the pilot are as follows:
Design Learning Challenge 2012
project website that will contain detailed information regarding challenge categories, guidelines, timelines, etc. Students should expect to collaborate in teams as guided by a local design educator or practitioner. Updates and related informative links are often posted on our Facebook Design Learning Challenge Group Page.
NOCCA Design Day
Just as the challenge was wrapping up, we were preparing for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) Design Day Event. In conjunction with IDSA’s 2011 International Conference in New Orleans, the Design Day Event introduced design thinking and learning skills to sixty gifted and creative freshman high school students to using a Learn.Think.Do approach.
The morning’s activities began at 8:30 am and ran straight through until 6:30 pm. The students were so engaged they didn’t want to leave. The day started with students exploring their personal creative spaces from multiple perspectives, which in turn prepared them for a campus wide walkabout – to consider the design of their school’s learning spaces. Students then experienced a story mapping exercise followed by brainstorming sessions with visiting design practitioners from the conference. The designers did a masterful job serving as facilitators to visualize student-generated ideas along with coaching whole group presentations. The culmination of the day resulted in the following comment by Kyle Wedberg, president and CEO of NOCCA: “The thing the students responded to more than anything was the chance to work directly with practicing professionals. The people that volunteered were top notch.”
The NOCCA Design Day Event served as the starting point for students to take an active role in the design and expansion of their teaching and learning spaces over the course of the next few years. Outputs of the brainstorming session with the visiting designers will serve as a bridge to an upcoming Charrette – where students will present to the architects initial plans of action for foreign language, humanities, and science learning spaces. Student teams will offer written narratives along with creative representations of their choice (digital media, dance, musical, model, etc.).
Article – “Design is to Thinking as Learning is to Doing”
, “Design is to Doing as Learning is to Thinking,” offers a design premise, pedagogical approach and historical reference to the notion of design learning. The article begins by linking innovation and design to a Learn.Think.Do approach as prerequisites to the design process. In other words, learning prepares us to think, design readies us to do. Furthermore, the notion of design learning is anchored in the research and work of the late insightful visionary, Victor Papanek (my former design professor). Papanek encourages designers to proactively balance their capacity to Learn.Think.Do with a deep understanding of the human condition.
Beyond, the article describes three innovative high schools: Da Vinci Design School, the Charter High School for Architecture and Design as well as the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. The piece concludes with Victor’s open invitation for design practitioners and educators to become involved! “Integration can mean something as simple as a one-time 30-minute presentation to a group of interested students, mentoring a student on a design-related service-learning project or independent study, or as a guest lecturer for a unit of study within a consumer education class. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to live near a design high school!“
Teaching Design to K-12
In the fourth quarter of 2010, IDSA launched a dedicated page “Teaching Design to K-12” to highlight a new trend - the design high school. Serving as pioneers, high schools such as Da Vinci Design School and the Charter High School for Architecture and Design have successfully engaged students in design methodologies, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation. We have identified five design high schools;, however, we are aware of at least nine others around the nation with no doubt more to come.
In June 2011, the “What is Industrial Design?” page was transformed by speaking directly to high school students as prospective designers. The page offers students a feel for the breadth and power of design within our world. In the brief introduction, it describes different types of design, the different things designers do and the different ways students can pursue design. Students are encouraged to be mindful of the content as they pick classes in school, choose a college or seek employment in the career of their choice.
Along with that, IDSA has set a long-term goal of ensuring that all students coming out of school at least know and understand what design is and what it can do.
To assist in meeting this goal, a collaborative initiative has been established between Doris Wells-Papanek, M.Ed., principal of Tailored Learning Tools, and IDSA to create the Design Learning Challenge.
The primary purpose of the Design Learning Challenge is to create an active awareness of the discipline of industrial design through participatory design learning experiences with K-12 students.