Design Learning Workshop

As part of a long-term initiative at the Graduate School of Design to develop new spaces for design learning, this course will explore nascent technological possibilities for project-based education. The Design Learning Workshop will examine both historical and contemporary examples of educational technologies and environments for design. Moreover, the workshop will serve as a setting in which to develop and evaluate new ways of positioning design—both materially and pedagogically—across disciplines. The course is open to graduate-level students from departments across the GSD and the entire university who have an interest in the future of design learning.

The course will have three main components. During the first phase of the course, students will examine histories and theories of design education with a particular emphasis on past pedagogical experiments. During the second phase of the course, students will disperse throughout the university to observe contemporary design education in a variety of disciplinary settings: not only in architecture, landscape, and urban design, but also in engineering, the humanities, the sciences, music, education, and others. During the final and most significant phase of the course, students will work in collaboration with selected other courses to prototype new design-centric learning technologies and environments. Over the course of the semester, the course will introduce students to observation-based research methods as well as technologies and strategies for collaborative design work.

The Design Learning Workshop will make use of a dedicated classroom space at the GSD with movable furniture and a toolkit of advanced technologies including large-scale networked displays, gesture-based control systems, high-end audio and video recording devices, and extensive staging equipment. The course is expected to produce exhibit-worthy prototypes of experimental design learning technologies and environments. Basic aptitude with a variety of creative software applications is expected. Fabrication and technology development skills are welcome, but not required.