I have completed my Master in Industrial Design degree! The semester ended in a whirlwind (hence the lower frequency of blog posts), but it was very exciting to wrap up our (my classmate Alex and I collaborated) thesis project and documentation. The blog posts for the thesis can be found at collectiveindwell.com, and below is the Issuu version of our thesis documentation:


The Masters hooding and commencement ceremonies were great! Here are a couple photos:

The MiD Crew

The MiD crew at the hooding ceremony!


Taylor and I at Graduation

My husband Taylor and I after commencement!


And some more exciting news....we have been asked to speak about our thesis work at a design education conference in late June in Philadelphia! The DESIGN-ED Coalition is putting on the Designed Future 2013 conference, "an unprecidented two day gathering of educators, designers and design thinkers dedicated to innovating PreK-12 education through design."

Here is the abstract for our talk:

Teacher and University Design Student Partnership: 5 Key Learnings that shaped the relationship between the university design student and public school teacher in the classroom.

Kelly and Alex are recent graduates of the Master of Industrial Design program at the University of the Arts. During the first year of their studies, they explored the world of alternative learning spaces through their work with YouthBuild Charter School, a vocational charter school for high school dropouts, and the Free Library of Philadelphia teen services. They employed design research methods, such as ethnographic observation and interviewing as well as generative participatory activities, to gain a deep understanding of issues such as chronic low attendance, and how to build programming and physical spaces for young adults.

This experience naturally led them to focus their thesis work within public, secondary education. “Truss: A Partnership for Design and Education” outlines a model for partnership between university design students and public school teachers to support the implementation and sustainability of design-based learning. It tells the story of Kelly and Alex’s own experience working with a Principal Intern/American History teacher at The Franklin Learning Center, a high school in the Philadelphia public school system, where they implemented a design-based learning project to build 21st century skills in a class of junior students. This experience provided the opportunity to outline the roles, responsibilities, and relationships between the design student and public school teacher. Through this innovative model for partnership they hope to alleviate some of the main stresses or obstacles teachers face when implementing a new way of teaching.

Kelly and Alex will be speaking about their experience as designers in the classroom, and will be focusing their discussion on the five things they found to be most influential in shaping the roles and relationship between the university design student and the teacher. These key learnings fall into the following categories:

  • Lesson and activity planning
  • Direct instruction and facilitation
  • Building creative confidence
  • Assessment of understanding
  • Organizing reflection

Their presentation will be followed by time for Q&A and discussion.


Exciting things ahead (and hopefully more time to write blog posts)!

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