Open Design: Design education showcase

Keeping the theme of inclusive and open to all, Open Design is premiering the first of this year’s design education showcase from top tertiary design schools in the Western Cape on 13 August. Many of us have emerged and immersed ourselves in the world of design either because we were lead to it or fascinated by it. This is why we think the education behind design must be infiltrated into communities in the development stage. Making this knowledge accessible is key to building their futures as thought leaders and change makers. We support these workshops as they will give this generation the skills and mindset to open paths to their futures. The open day is for the kids and the parents to form a curiosity and understanding behind embracing design, which focuses on critical ways of thinking. Lead with empathy: The root of human-centered design, empathy builds on the classic definition of “walking in someone else’s shoes” to get us out of our own heads and into the lived reality of others so that we can understand the absolute needs and root causes of the situations in which we work. Leading with empathy means pushing yourself to get closer to people, and to do so consistently, publicly, and with conviction. How do you do it? Listen more; talk less. Immerse yourself in how others experience your school or program. Adopt a beginner’s mind and use all of your senses to notice what’s happening around you. Challenge assumptions: When confronted with a problem, you seize the opportunity to do better than you’ve done before. Start thinking ahead by introducing the possibility of a shift from how we’ve always done things to the potential for a reframe. Reframing is critical for innovation, but it’s also a way of changing points of view. Challenging assumptions lets us see what both children and adults are truly capable of doing. Harnessed for good, challenging assumptions steers you in the direction of more effective policies and practices because you’re willing to see things differently. Experiment: Try something and learn from it: even if it doesn’t end up with the result you want. What really matters is trying something, letting people know that you’re trying it, and generating opportunities for feedback. You’ll learn the most from what doesn’t work. Find a path that allows you to experiment with quick hacks and low-resolution prototypes. Share processes: Design cannot thrive in isolation. As you share your empathy work or your experiments, share what’s hard, not just what’s shiny and new – your peers and community need to see the steps to an idea instead of concealing its insecurities.

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The Design education showcase takes place on 13 August between 9am – 5pm. This day includes the Design Careers Open Day for parents, learners, educators and the general public. Contact: Open Design 

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