I've had the pleasure of being involved in the Design + Build process as a student, collaborator, and also leading my own. Design + Build programs at the collegiate level have been developed to fulfill the need of haptic learning, where students are given the opportunity to be directly engaged with real world issues through hands-on problem solving. When constructing something by hand, students develop an understanding of the technical properties and physical outcomes of what they design.
This type of curriculum examines the interconnections between the making of things and the social and environmental impact of their existence. While exploring interdisciplinary connections within art, craft, and design, students look to materials and processes, systems and solutions, and site specific art as a way to bring about cultural and contextual awareness of the complexities of sustainability. Looking to methods of innovation, problem solving, and community building, students investigate global issues on a local level by thinking-through-making as a catalyst for change.
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