Redesigning the design school

We see a steady shift away from purely applied, product or marketing-based solutions toward a more strategic role for designers in social problem-solving. Futureproof design schools must be founded on a balanced curriculum uniting creativity with practical disciplines. LUCA took up the challenge!

The Why

"Design education is broken: often ill-defined, shallowly specialized, and beholden to departments in art, architecture, or engineering," stated designer Don Norman. Presuming this is the case, how can the system be fixed - so that young designers can be properly trained not just in the pursuit of “making [things] look pretty” but in the art and science of creatively integrating information to solve practical problems? Luca School of Arts took up the challenge and called in Tribe Chief Lien to facilitate this transformational process.

The Challenge

LUCA wants to be on the front lines of innovation in design education. We Are Tribe is Interested in where design, arts, community development, social impact, innovation and philantrophy meet. But how might we create a school that is futureproofinclusivecollaborative and equitable? And where to begin? 

'In order for design to stay relevant, it must incorporate a human-centered approach to empathy and systems-thinking.'

The Roadmap

We practice what we preach. So we worked together with students, teachers and leading designers in the industry to delve into the conversation. Through the process, we wanted every voice heard, from students and alumni to top leaders in the industry. Because this process is about all of them, and about them moving forward as a community. 

We collaboratively started to define the 'how might we'-question and brainstormed about possible futures. We organized a two-day workshop with more than 20 LUCA design teachers in the Ardens. And we facilitated an intensive design sprint for students of BBV (Bachelor Beeldende Vorming) during which they could share their thoughts and ideas. Designers and educators discussed various facets of design education, including where design is heading and how to keep it relevant.

The Result

We summarized this first research and ideation phase into an action plan and a dozen or so concept books from students, with insights, organisation, consumer and environment analyses. 

In the weeks, months and years to come LUCA and We Are Tribe will take next steps toward bringing these ideas to life, with a radical redesign of future curriculum. To be continued!

Read more