Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
- FABLAB Education Program
- Designer: TYTHEdesign
- Location: Hunts Point - South Bronx, New York
- Category: Educational Initiatives
- Award: Professional Runner-Up
TYTHEdesign in collaboration with the non-profit Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), has developed and piloted an educational after-school program to teach job and life skills by focusing on sustainability and business basics through the lens of design. By using design educational principles, students learned valuable transferable skills that can be used in every area of their lives.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
It was lunch time in New York and we took a break to watch the live broadcast of the awards. We work in a co-working space in Brooklyn, so watching the awards meant sitting quietly in the corner, with our earphones on! We were so honored to be recognized and immediately shared the news with our collaborators.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Following the initial pilot launch of the program, Sustainable South Bronx has set up the FABLAB as part of their regular programming. We supported the organization in the hiring process to make sure they brought on someone who had the right background in design, education and the environment. Additionally, we provided some basic training and education to the new teacher to make sure the transition worked smoothly. In the Spring/Summer of 2012 they officially launched the program to great success, doubling the attendance of the pilot. The programs have just ended and we are looking forward to an update from both the students' and organization's perspectives.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
Through the initial pilot program and first Etsy store, we heard back from a college recruiter, "I was interviewing a prospective student for college and we talked at length about FabLab; you have an excellent-sounding program there and I do hope you keep it going." Additionally, we have been contacted by individuals looking to hire our students, who were using the program as a form of reference. It was great for us to hear that the program had such a positive reach towards our students next steps.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
Bottom line, our 'a-ha' moments came through collaboration, with both the organization, our team and the students. Due to our constant evaluation during the pilot program we were able to quickly identify what was working well and what wasn't. This in itself was our 'a-ha' moment/process. Many times our assumptions were incorrect and our ideas didn't match the interest of the the students. The biggest 'a-ha' moment was changing our terminology, learning to relate better to the student by talking about 'next steps' not specifically college or job. This allowed everyone to feel comfortable, be in the same conversation and be excited that 'next steps' were all equal and exciting regardless of what they were.