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My interest in Design Education has increased substantially since becoming both student and teacher at OCAD. I am interested in the way Design is changing and becoming a field that is no longer strictly about style and the creation of more ‘stuff’. I discovered a new school in Austin, Texas that is loosely based on Denmark’s KAOSPilot “a school for positive societal change, business creativity, and personal mastery.” In short, a school for the 21st Century.
Austin Center for Design is the creation of Jon Kolko [Associate Creative Director at Frog Design in Austin]. He was becoming increasingly concerned with the state of Design education and concerns from previous students now disillusioned working in jobs they once dreamed about. “They’re doing the things that everyone was led to believe one does in design school, and now they’re questioning it,” he says. “They feel that they’re adding to the consumptive nature of the world.”
The core pillars of the Austin Center of Design are empathy, abductive reasoning, and rapid prototyping. Areas that were not even on the radar when I was a design student. Design Education is evolving. Finally. I see it in students that I teach, they care about how their role as future designers will affect the world, and seek ways to create positive change through their projects.
The world is changing at a rate that most institutions cannot keep up with, it is great to see people so passionate about education that they are willing to create new programs to keep up with these changes.