Informed by the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my academic and professional career as a designer, I seek to create an active learning environment where students can freely express their ideas and values through design. As design processes move towards user-centered solutions, I believe design pedagogy can benefit from a similar approach. As an educator, I strive to help students find their individual voices and develop their own sense of identity as creatives. Understanding where students are in their academic journey, and giving them the proper guidance needed to achieve growth and development, is vital to their individual success.
I believe students should work independently and collaboratively on a wide variety of design projects, including ones that are technologically driven, forward-thinking, and socially focused. Thus, emerging technologies such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are new mediums in which students should be encouraged to prototype and develop informative design solutions. Furthermore, design students should be encouraged to use these immersive mediums to create meaningful experiences that enable participants to engage in social activities that generate empathy and facilitate community building.
As students are prepared to take on new roles and responsibilities within society, learning environments and projects should be designed in a manner that increases their exposure to the ethical, social, and cultural implications of design. As a design educator, I believe it is essential that I maintain a strong sense of cultural awareness so that I can better equip my students for success in an ever-changing multicultural society. Where possible, design students should be encouraged to take electives outside of their specialized fields to develop interdisciplinary skills and broaden their social and cultural awareness.