2050 Step 2 Describe


Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard 1: 
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Design Learning Process Step 2  |  Describe

Describe  |  Lesson Prior to UK Link


Step 2)  Describe   Develop the Challenge Brief

Ask participants to describe what they experienced, ask questions, and share past experiences

Define the Challenge

2.1   Students transpose the problem statement into a human-centered design challenge—with the intent of producing a purposeful, creative, and innovative design solution

Ask a Critical Question

2.2   Learners pose a well-crafted critical question to guide the design learning process—one that embraces divergent thinking and is anchored in real-world context

Sort Habits of Mind

2.3   Students observe and study the context, needs, and wants of end users and stakeholders from all perspectives and pathways in the year 2015, 2020, then 1980 – along with the Habits of Mind that directly link to targeted problem set

Activity 1

Describe Part I – Define the Challenge (one  50-min session)

Teams transpose the initial problem statement into a human-centered challenge with purposeful intent – to produce a creative and innovative design solution

Students explore new vocabulary: human-centered, innovation, problem solving, balance ecosystem, etc.

Teams brainstorm an initial critical question - a question that will later be linked to criteria that will guide the decision making process

Students study the expectations of current job expectations on: www.careerbuilder.com – to identify today’s patterns, trends, then use storytelling to imagine the year 2050, followed by decisions that were made in 1980 (this will offer students a 70 year span in which to understand the problem)

Teams document their findings by populating the Stakeholder Habits of Mind Matrix – begin with the present, followed by the future to freely imagine what might be, to then make sense of the impact of past decisions

Select Perspective

2.4   Learners choose one perspective in which to design your solution—art, design, the humanities, science, technology, engineering, or math

Select Ecosystem Pathway

2.5   Students select one pathway to Imagine Life the Year 2050—home, work, learning, health, community, mobility, play, agriculture, or environment

Choose Upcycling Resource(s)

2.6   Learners consider and select upcycle resources and materials—such as reused materials, food cans, plastic bags, paper envelopes, clothing, etc.

Activity 2

Describe Part II – Select Direction (one  50-min session)

Each student selects one perspective and one pathway

Students then form teams with complementary perspectives and one common pathway (for example an engineer, designer, and technologist  who imagine play in the year 2050)

With the aim to create a future of balanced and stabilized ecosystem, teams select upcycled resources and materials to correct non-productive decisions that have been made in the past within their pathway

Describe  |  Lesson Prior to UK Link con’t.


Engage Content Experts

2.7   Teams engage in dialogue with content experts—to gain greater understandings of context of the problem sets being challenged

Check Assumptions

2.8   Learners generate a list of presumptions early in the process – then check resulting assumptions by gathering input and feedback from end users and stakeholders

Activity 3

Describe Part III – Confirm Decisions (one 50-min session)

Teams consider how might their pathway ensure productive problem solving, plan of action leads to innovation, and supports a balanced ecosystem – then build a roadmap to success and identify top three actions as evidence of an innovative solution

Students prepare and present their roadmap to global design learning partners, listen carefully as they respond, identify three most valuable ideas or suggestions

Teams consider next steps, adjustments, the need for more information or additional input – to ensure that industry and economy in Kansas City will benefit

Doris Wells-Papanek,
Feb 5, 2014, 10:31 AM