Poster/Paper Presentation
A Model for Self-Organized Design Education

IDSA 2012 International Conference: The Future Is...
with Austin Lee, Samuel Luescher, Kshitij Marwah

It is obvious that as the boundaries of diverse disciplines are blurring, the role of designers is evolving rapidly. It is crucial for designers to develop a broad understanding of our profession and the surrounding world through interdisciplinary practices. In this paper we introduce Self-Organized Design Education, a curriculum that aims to transform designers into innovative thinkers, disruptive technologists, inventors, creative leaders and entrepreneurs within the emerging paradigms in design and technology. Self-Organized Design Education offers student-driven workshops as a process that allows students to tinker and “make as a way of thinking”, which is balanced with regular coursework that focuses on more rigorous research methods. Our goal is to widen designers’ perspectives, not just empowering them to become today’s problem solvers but also speculators/creators of the future.

Core questions are:

A. How should we structure a flexible ecosystem that builds upon student’s intrinsic motivation to pick up the skills needed in such an evolving context? The keywords : self-learning, knowledge management and independent teaching of peers.

B: What would a curriculum look like that provides freedom for individual exploration, while maintaining a strong connection to a post-educational world that demands commercially viable products?