AIGA M/T Affinity Session: Design Education for School Age Children

Caroline Payson, director of education Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Because most students will not go to the physical museum, CH had to focus on the intangibles of design mainly design thinking and design process.

Teen Design program: teens get to speed date designers. Graphic Design Workshops. Also do more intense programs where they do college visits or overnights at Design Schools. Students in the intense program have 100% acceptance to elite design schools.

Teacher Training: Program such as Edcouch-Elsa program in Texas. Red Barn Chemical Site: worked with elders, sent samples to EPA, do student presentations to jury (people from town council, principle of school, and CH), they learned how to exhibit their work. At every point, think about the design process. Of two town pop of 2000, 200 people say the exhibition.

City of New Orleans: Design in the future is ground zero. People are going to be making decisions for long time. Brought 40 educators from New Orleans and Brooklyn, NY. The first year it was important to get them out. Used Chinatown because adjacent to Sept. 11 and changing populations.

To get the kids to understand design, you are thinking about the future, using that positive energy.
Design Fair with local partners who can go into class rooms or use studios. End every year with the design fair like science fair with the local partners.

St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans: Chalmette high school redid their courtyard through students design thinking and working in science class to understand the pumps of how they got flooded.

Have done three years of evaluation. more engaged and active learners, improved wrting, problem solving, and presentation skills. Enhanced collaboration and more positive attitude and involvement. 

12 major project cities.

Educator resource center: Every educator gets a stipend, need to create curriculum lesson plans and place on the site. 300 videos. Are going to create first unit on sustainable design. Have 1000s of educators, 1000s of education threads...

Next step is to build out website. Working in places that have primarily underserved populations, 88% black and latinos. We are probably connecting to more underserved communities within AIGA. Peer to peer, virtual mentoring, etc.

Martin Rayala, Kutztown University

  1. Design
  2. Design education
  3. Design education in schools
  4. Design education in schools as part of regular instruction taught by qualified teachers

He focuses on the fourth item. The visual world is massive and only small part being introduced in fine arts. If we could get people to understand the importance of the visual world, they can develop greater visual literacy. The are four pieces of visual literacy: art, visual culture, design, and visual communication. Visual communication is not universally accepted, there is determined effort to keep vis com out of school.

Big question: What should students know and be able to do?  General education core: Knowledge (content) is group Common Core. Skills such as critical thinking etc. is Partnership for 21st Century, tools is No Child Left Behind, and religious institutions focus on Dispositions.

  • Knowledge and Color: Getting color wheel in elementary, high school. But not RGB or Pantone. Content is not enough.
  • No Child Left Behind focused on the tools of numbers and words, but what about images and experiences. 
  • Skills are part of the design process: ideation, research, criteriazation, visualization, prototyping, selection, production, implementation, and evaluation. 
  • Design education: images (graphics), objects (ID), space (architects), experience (interactive design).

Four things we want in life is to do well (focus of school), do good (need to win fairly), be well (design is being blamed for consumption), and have well being. Have to help people in designing a future worth living into. Battle is not just to get the visual arts in the schools but also visual culture, visual design, and visual communication into general education in the schools. 

Images from session:

IMG_3768 

IMG_3774

IMG_3775

IMG_3769