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Innovative Teaching Ideas - Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Teaching

Cyber Charettes: A Global Human-Centered Design Perspective
Developing cultural sensitivity and the ability to collaborate with peers from differing cultural and global perspectives is a skill set demanded by our global marketplace. This 7-day collaborative charrette prepares students for the commonality of international and intercultural collaboration within structures that support self-directed learning and creativity.

The charrette format allows students of varied year levels an integrative and applied learning experience. A broadly formatted design task is assigned oriented around a design topic which is unfamiliar to all students.   Left intentionally vague, the program encourages a variety of interpretations with emphasis on process over product, inciting students to take risks and spurring creativity. Students develop communication methods, team organization, context and content, and outcome.  The process finalizes with the production of an artifact representing their collaborative efforts and work: a self-expressive poster. 
 
Students develop in-depth knowledge of a design topic, collaboration and communication skills, cultural sensitivity and social connectivity.  In-process student interviews and post project feedback surveys supported the evaluation of student experiences and successful learning outcomes.

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Group Problem-Solving with Active Learning: A Holistic User-Experience Approach

The goal of this design challenge was to develop a readily reproducible model to entice movement from traditional lecture style to active learning by exploring multiple peer-collaboration modes to achieve optimal learning outcomes. Throughout the design process, students conducted surveys and interviews to capture the user experience from different perspectives: students across campus, instructors from diverse disciplines, student services and information technology support teams. Active learning classrooms were designed to support the needs of Generation Y students, multiple pedagogical styles and easy shifts within a single session while providing team spaces for academic work beyond scheduled class times. With support of the college, student-led designs came to life and the spaces they created became one of the most popular places to work. Synergistic insights from user research coupled with dynamic group work modes (groups of two, then four and then eight students) became the driving force to achieve creative and well-developed design outcomes within the tight time frame.

Member Price: $10.00 Non-Member Price: $15.00
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Interdisciplinary Cluster Competition XL

Disciplines are transcending their original boundaries. Collaboration between different design disciplines are becoming the norm. There is an opportunity for design educators to create and implement cross disciplinary experience in undergraduate education that provides true and meaningful understanding of the possibilities of trans- disciplinary collaborate design projects.
This exercise provides a framework for exploring cross-disciplinary collaboration between five design disciplines, including architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, and visual communication. Across the school, two hundred students engaged in a ten-day competition in which mixed teams worked to identify a problem, explore solutions that involved a multidisciplinary approach and communicate their proposals.

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Meta Studio – A Model for Synergy & Convergence in Interior Design Education

Numerous arts, architecture, and interior design curricula have been geared by the separation of lecture and studio courses. This tendency to operate in isolation with minimal to no connection results in siloed teaching paradigms – didactic outcomes become more of added complicatedness than complexity. While studio courses address applied knowledge, lecture courses (i.e., computer graphics, materials, etc.) are designed to address theoretical and technical precepts generically, without modules that correlate. The proposed “Meta-Pedagogy” bridges design studio and lecture-based courses (Materials course & Graphics course) by converging faculties, disciplines, resources, and tools. This initiative is paving the way for a comprehensive, collaborative pedagogy whereby one learning objective, acquired in a given course, becomes evidence to support other concomitantly offered courses. The holistic, practice-based view provided through the “Meta-system” is in many ways core to the very discipline of design – a synthesis of arts and sciences.

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No Travel Required: Using Technology to Create an Immersive Trans-Cultural Design Experience

The realities of globalization and the new world order are compelling interior design educators to create and implement multi-cultural experiences that provide true and meaningful trans-cultural design projects. The most direct solution is to physically interact via international travel but the expense and logistics thereof present real impediments for students and cash-strapped institutions. Using readily available technology this course/project provides a framework for two globally separate but mutually accordant design programs to engage in a design project in which mixed teams work across the globe in real time to identify a problem, investigate evidence, explore solutions and communicate their findings. The internet essentially provides a virtual third place, or project workroom, in which culturally diverse interior design student teams interact in real time.

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Re-design the Process of Food

As designers, we often get mired in the details of a project; therefore it is helpful to begin a new project with a specific level of abstraction. This is an introductory 15-day assignment delivered at the beginning of a quarter long collaborative studio that merges interior design with graphic design students, who are paired into teams of two, one from each discipline to ultimately design and brand a restaurant. This assignment is designed to push students into abstract problem solving and to force them to rely on each other’s strengths to solve in a 3-dimensional and visual way. This assignment is used to explore design processes, allow for understanding of how each team will work together for the remainder of the quarter and as a test to see how far each team is willing to push the conceptual underpinning of a project.

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