Core77: Tell us a bit about your jury and why you chose these individuals.
Mariana Amatullo: It was important to me that we not only have diversity and multi-disciplinarity in our team, but that each team member be an individual who embodies a set of pluralistic skills and whose educational and professional trajectories demonstrate the power of straddling boundaries of knowledge and experience.
So if you take a close look at everyone's background, each of them has extraordinary expertise in their own areas, while the knack of constantly innovating and moving beyond strictly defined competencies.
Starting with my colleague Karen Hoffman who not only has a double appointment at Art Center, as our chair of Product Design and Director of the Color, Materials and Trends Exploratory Lab, but is also deeply immersed in driving some of our most innovative educational initiatives at the college, which are broadening how we teach, and whom we teach design education to. Karen is both a leader and an all "hands-on deck" passionate educator who has an innate ability to get her students to exude confidence and inspiration.
Johanna Blakely brings to the jury an amazing academic trajectory and rich insight into social media, entertainment, fashion, intellectual property and contemporary cultural trends that intersect closely with the decisions and choices designers are confronted with on a daily basis. Her research interests and the initiatives she oversees at the Norman Lear Center encompass such wide array of issues, which are of deep relevance to this category—I am thrilled she is participating.
Alexandre Hennen is someone whom I look forward to working together with in the context of this jury. His leadership at Continuum Los Angeles has puts him at the center of remarkable talent and projects; it will be very exciting to count with his voice in our team.
Why is it important to recognize this category in a design awards program?
I think it is essential that we celebrate all dedicated and innovative educators out there. They remain so invisible, so often. What kinds of people or projects do you imagine entering your category? How will you evaluate the entries?
I am not certain that it would be fair for me to answer this question, perhaps other to say that I am really striving not to imagine any particular kind of project, or initiative, or group. Doing so would automatically add filters that I am intent we avoid. It is quite refreshing to me that the educational initiatives category is one that Core77 framed in such an open manner. Let's keep it that way!
Where do you see the future of this field heading?
I believe we are at a critical crossroads with design education. Increasingly, we have to all wrestle with an acute sense of rapidly changing times in a global context defined by complexity. The future we are facing as human beings implicates designers deeply. One wonders, what does it mean for design education to enact new forms of knowledge, and directly engage with future-oriented forms of teaching, learning and practice in the context of the global knowledge economy? What are the ethics of designing that come into play in our teaching? What are the new pedagogical frameworks we will need to conceive of to enable new forms of thinking, perceiving and making?
Undoubtedly, some insight ahead to look forward to, in this category's submissions.