In conjunction with our 2018 Core77 Design Awards, we've decided to explain a few of the categories in detail that may be difficult to grasp at first glance so you can decide whether or not the project you want to submit fits the mold! In our first article of the series, we dive into the area of Design Education Initiative—not only what it is, but how it's evolved and the word of education and design is rapidly expanding.
When it comes to education, many institutions are beginning to realize if they want their students or employees to survive in the modern age, they must shift their previous perceptions of learning by helping those they teach to gain timely new skills. Today, many kids are actively involved in learning coding and other real-world skills in order to become the inventors of tomorrow. Corporations more than ever are encouraging creative, critical thinking through exercises and experiments to receive the most overall value from their employees.
This ever-morphing zone is precisely what is explored within the Core77 Design Awards' Design Education Initiative category. Whether it's academic, corporate, or experimental, one of the principles that guide every project within the Design Education Initiative space is the term "design thinking". And for this year's 2018 Core77 Design Awards, it's important to us to distinguish the Design Education Initiative category as not only encompassing degree-granting design programs but also programs meant to educate with strong roots in the principles of design thinking.
2018 Design Education Initiative Jury Captain Dr. Susie Wise is involved in program precisely placed between the design and education space as Coach, Designer and Strategic Advisor for School Retool. School Retool is a fellowship for teachers guided by design principles. "What is very design-centric about how we work in School Retool," says Wise," is we really work on introducing school leaders to what we think of as some of the levers of design that are actually theirs to use. Often times you find leaders who think that the way to influence change is to send emails about a new plan; it's a planning centric approach. The more design-centric approach says 'gosh, you have all these levers that can help you build school culture. You could design space. You can design roles. You can design rituals. You can design incentives. You can design communications and process and time.'"
School Retool cue cards
In other words, the principles of design thinking don't need to be explicitly explained in order for those using it to reap the benefits. It's a method for enacting change within the education space, inserting empathy within academic experiences, and supplying students with tools for success.
Last year's winner of the Design Education Initiative award, Montana State's "Farm to Market" class had design and business students team up with local farmers to tackle problems surrounding food waste using design thinking.
So what programs fit into the Design Education Initiative space?
The types of projects eligible for Design Education Initiative include but are not limited to:
- Innovative K12 educational programs
- Online or in-person learning programs run by design firms and design-driven corporations
- Museum exhibitions engineered as learning experiences