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College of Design

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conference and Playdough

Last week, I participated in the Design Thinking for Higher Education Innovation Workshop. This workshop is a collaboration of Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the University of Minnesota's Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, and the University of Minnesota's College of Design. The goal of this workshop is to find new ways to transform and to address the problems in higher education. I felt a little out of place when I found out that the majority of the participants are big deal. By 'big deal' I mean the deans of colleges, professors, professionals, and Ph.D. candidates. I felt honored for the opportunity to work with and to learn from these amazing people.

Des Higher Ed.jpg
At the Design Thinking for Higher Education Innovation Workshop

We used design thinking process to solve the problem given. I love design education because it taught me how to solve a problem in a different way. Design students are trained figure out what the problem is or whether that problem is the real problem rather than jump right into solutions. This is why I appreciate the effort of including design thinking in this higher education innovation workshop. After all the brainstorming and diagrams, we created a 3D prototype of our goals as you see below. It was definitely the best part of the day. Everyone was having so much fun with all the random items we had, especially with the playdough. To put this more accurately, people went nuts with the playdough.

(left) my team is creating our prototype, (right) finished prototype

Last year, I participated in a few conferences hosted by the College of Design. My favorite ones were Design Intersection and Dirty Laundry. Take advantage of great events and conferences that are happening all over campus. They may be major-related or interest-related. It is a great way to network and collaborate with people who are outside your normal social circle, but are interested in the same things you do.

(left) diagram of ideas during the Design Intersection group work, (right) taking with the presenter after the Dirty Laundry event. (Photos are taken from College of Design's facebook page)


This was a pizza party during lecture in my Design class on Tuesday night, just because we were hungry and pizza is always a good idea. It was just a spontaneous decision which turned into the best decision ever made as a class.

Be happy, see you next blog!
Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.