Design School Values ‘Experience’ Over Classroom Learning

Design School Values ‘Experience’ Over Classroom Learning

The University of North Texas design and communication programs encourage students to travel outside of the digital world.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 20 december 2012

The design and communications professors at the University of North Texas understand that a liberal arts degree is just as much about what you learn outside the classroom as what you learn in the classroom.

That’s why the design program there has started the ‘Experience Passport.’ The ‘Experience Passport’ is a work-book/pamphlet given to students each year, filled with activities to do outside the classroom to further their learning experience.

Students get a different book for each year of their studies, and part of their educational goal for that year might be visiting certain museums, watching Oscar nominated films made prior to 1945, and reading at least one Pulitzer prize-winning fiction novel. There are also more career-oriented tasks such as exchanging business cards with 5 professional designers, but the entire idea of the project is to expose students to life experiences in the physical world around them, rather than on their computer screens.

Students print out and bind the books themselves, as you might expect in a design program, and they can gain stamps for completing certain tasks, just like receiving stamps in your passport when traveling to a new country.

This is a very cool idea that could be integrated into more curriculums across the country. Experiencing the world, and in this case real-world design, can not only further the understanding of concepts taught in the classroom, but also help the students understand more about themselves as individuals.

Check out the gallery below of the concept:


University of North Texas


Images by Sara Weininger, via Brandeis University and the Alex Egner, via University of North Texas


Transformable Table Maximizes Utility In Small Spaces

Design & Architecture
Syndicated Yesterday

How Fashion Became All About Fonts

Why a new wave of designs have put typography front and center on your clothing

Retail Yesterday

GM And Audi Are Experimenting With Car Rentals In SF

The automakers are trying something new to capture the segment of urban dwellers who don't want to own a car


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

This Vertical Forest Hotel Will Improve The Air Around It

An architectural firm is creating a lush mountain lodging in China with so much greenery that it will actually clean the atmosphere

Related Expert

Robin Chase

Product As Service, Customer Service, Automotive

Europe Yesterday

This Company Believes Insects Can Provide Biofuel To Power Our Future

A Polish group is testing out a new factory concept that can provide a source of renewable energy, and even serve space missions

Technology Yesterday

Music Venue Caters To Virtual Reality Events

Boiler Room has launched the first VR hub for content creators to capture special footage for the masses

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Automated Chessboard Lets You Play Against Anyone In The World

Square Off is an AI-powered board that can move the pieces on its own


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Technology Yesterday

Contraband Recorder Helps Those In Need Capture Captive Conversations

Designer Marianna Mezhibovkaya created the device to help prison inmates capture crucial evidence of abuse

Advertising Yesterday

A Compelling Brand Purpose Is Never Born In The Boardroom

Strategist and Designer Anna-Rae Morris shares why she believes all brands exist for a reason, and how Snapchat has upended our behavior

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Xs And Os Of Performance-Enhanced Sports

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats explain that we're only at the iceberg's tip of performance enhancement

Retail Yesterday

Kodak’s Smartphone Is Inspired By A Retro Camera

Ektra is an Android phone with a powerful lens aimed at photographers

Sustainability Yesterday

Modern Home Created Entirely Out Of Modular Shipping Crates

A project in Ecuador used the ubiquitous material to design a spacious and industrial-chic house

Retail Yesterday

Retail Concept Offers Food Hall Inspired Space For Online Brands

The store will offer a lower cost way for internet entrepreneurs to try physical retailing

Advertising Yesterday

Disney Retells Beauty And The Beast On Snapchat

In a partnership with LACMA, the entertainment platform drew from over 130,000 works in the museum's collection

No search results found.