Design studio

Design studio is an educational module tailored to design students at any stage of their education process. The goal of this module is to make visible the entanglement between our own creative process and the way the practice of design shapes the world. The module operates at three levels:

  1. Self-awareness - how do I create? What drives me in that process? What scares me? How do I hope to develop through it? How can I be more intimate with my creative process? At this stage the students experience their creative process as a resource that they can always access. They learn how to be kind to themselves through taking responsibility for their creative process and learning how to respect it without trying to control or change it.
  2. Interdependence - how do I co-create? How do I collaborate with others? What are  my tendencies in a team environment? What can I give to the team? What do I need from the team? How does our team work ebb and flow towards our communal goals? At this stage students use their self-awareness developed in the first stage and use it to discover their tendencies in teamwork. They experience more stability in their self-awareness as they broaden it through teamwork, but more importantly through it they expand the self-awareness into their team, creating an interdependent organism.
  3. Speculative design - what world are we creating? What is the relationship between our self-awareness, our interdependence and the shape of our world? Can we imagine a world which grows out of the experience we’ve had during the workshop? What does it look like? At this stage, the teams each work on either a “design challenge” which they have to accomplish through speculation, or they are simply tasked with visualizing a world which comes out of the microcosm of their team.

This module does not aim to give the participants a perfect experience, but rather to create a space in which discomfort is safe, confusion is allowed and encouraged, and connection and conversation drive the process of discovering design as more than a discipline, but rather as a way of loving the world and taking responsibility for its shape. At the end of the process, the participants are invited to reflect and share anything that has or is coming up for them in the aftermath.

Developing a pedagogic practice to me is another form of research, as opposed to a mere sharing of knowledge.

This module is currently taught at the Graphic design academy at Brainster Co.