On April 27, 2017, the International Council of Design (ico-D), of which RGD is a Member, is celebrating World Design Day with 'Start Young', a new initiative to introduce design concepts to kids through educational workshops.
How do we prepare young kids to navigate this turbulent world, so they can become sensitive, intellectual, imaginative and practical leaders for tomorrow?
Through the World Design Day (WDD) 'Start Young' workshop, ico-D and Montréal-based designer Marc Kandalaft of We are Rap. will celebrate the transformative power of design across regions and cultures. This project is part of a global collaboration to promote early design education in partnership with Open Design Cape Town (South Africa), Casa Wabi (Mexico), Triennale Design Museum (Italy) and Seoul Design Foundation (South Korea), organizations who will lead the WDD 2017: Start Young workshops in their respective countries.
A primer is available featuring hands-on exercises to introduce a basic form of design methodology, encouraging participating children to explore their creative potential freely and trust their capacity to solve problems and test their solutions.
Participating kids will be asked to: Observe > Analyze > Create > Model > Test. The desired outcome of the workshop is to inspire and empower children to adopt innovative ways of thinking and to enhance their creative confidence.
Reasons to Participate:
1. Design is transformative. Knowing that the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, early awareness of design as a field of professional practice and of elemental design methodology is key. Whether they choose to become designers, or to apply design methodology in their approach to everyday problems, the designing mindset will be an invaluable asset for whatever future they choose.
2. Kids are a blank slate. They are at an age when their view of the world and its possibilities are limitless. As the first generation of ‘pure’ digital natives, today’s kids already feel personally responsible for their own futures: they want to be able to choose and create work that makes a difference in the world. And they will do it in their own, unique way. Having a designing mindset means being tuned into the invisible things that matter to people and their relationships to each other and the world.
3. Design is an essential subject. What if design was taught to children the same way math is: everyday, and on equal footing with science, history and languages? Nearly everywhere in the world, math is considered one of the essential subjects necessary for developing a well-rounded, young mind. The logic is, though many of us won’t become mathematicians, we inherently know math is useful, as it shapes and enlarges our brains in a particular, irrefutable way. In some countries, design is already considered to be an essential subject in elementary school curriculum. The same logic stands: by teaching design to children, they may not become designers, but they will know how to think and be like them. It’s about cultivating and nurturing a designing-mindset. And it’s best to start young.