The Austin Center for Design is pushing for a new school focused on experimentation and creation to help spur creativity and conquer the fear of actually ‘making’ things.
During course reviews with students at the Austin Center for Design, where I am a professor, our faculty saw a concerning pattern. Many of our students were inhibited, some even fearful, of actually making things. Luckily, they were seeking advice and direction on how to use their hands and actually experiment.
But the problematic part was that they were students at a design school. We actively recruit and accept those without deep design backgrounds because of the other skills and experience they bring to our program like business, science, engineering, education, social work, or simply their intellectual curiosity and adeptness. We do this with full confidence that we can leverage our own design training to help them along. The expectation at our school is that students won’t be creating just beautiful objects; they’ll create beautifully smart and socially impactful ones.
But, the fear of literally making these designs was a bright red flag for our faculty.
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