Dear Art and Design Students

Dear NAEA and IDSA Student Chapter Members,

My name is Hannah Duffy. I am an industrial design graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. I was also the First Place Winner of the IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2011. I’m writing to you in hopes that you will become as excited and interested in becoming participants of IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2012!

My Story

During IDSA's Midwest Design Dialogue Conference 2011, I attended the Design Learning Challenge (DLC) kick-off presentation and I was very intrigued. My hometown’s art program had recently been cut and this competition seemed like the perfect time to take action. In high school I struggled on tests, however excelled in complex projects. I also found I retained important information better if I had to develop a project vs. forcing myself to memorize the content. I’ve also realized creativity is a powerful aspect of education and can change the way a student performs in school. My passion of design research and the DLC allowed me to showcase my research skills as well as utilize my design knowledge. It gave me the opportunity to stretch my design wings and take action regarding an important cause, education. 

This is the Challenge for You!

The Design Learning Challenge is geared towards extremely motivated art and industrial design students who seek meaningful endeavors to expand their design knowledge and skills. Does this describe you? Do you ever wish your high school homework assignments could have been more hands-on rather than worksheets or tests? Do you ever think about how school could be so much more exciting if only…? Does explaining the discipline of design to your non-design friends exhaust you? If you answered yes to any of these questions – then this is the ultimate challenge for you! 

What's Expected...

The challenge is structured in a curriculum-like format, applicable for students to take on as an honors assignment, thesis, in place of another class assignment, etc. Requirements are listed on the project website, you will choose a multi-disciplinary team and delegate a leader. Beyond, you will develop an action research study, along with creating a partnership with a local art classroom as context. To stay on track, you will plan your project using a goal sheet and timeline, design a Learn.Think.Do instructional flow and define a set of deliverables. In addition, you will produce a video and presentation boards, as well as provide a photo of each team member. 

If you are an ambitious student eager to stretch your design thinking and learning skills, then the possibilities are endless within three comprehensive categories: Design Day Event, Targeted Design Project or Industrial Design Awareness Campaign. You will explore redefining design education and possibly gain attention on a national level. 

Your First Steps: 

  1. Join in on the discussions posted on the “Design Learning Challenge” Facebook group page!
  2. Dig into ongoing content posted on the website!
  3. Gather your team and select a facilitator!

Hannah I. Duffy, B.F.A. industrial design, University of Illinois at Chicago