Design Educators Conference Webinar: Making Real – or Why We Don’t Teach Speculative Design & 'Show & Tell'

The RGD is pleased to announce the Design Educators Conference Webinar: Making Real – or Why We Don’t Teach Speculative Design & 'Show & Tell'


In 2021, the 5th Design Educators Conference will consist of: 2 Keynote Presentations and 12 Themed Concurrent Sessions. The Conference's 5 themes are: Empower (the learners), Embrace (the classroom), Expand (the experience), Engage (with external participation) and Equity (within all spaces).



  • Making Real: or Why We Don’t Teach Speculative Design by Ali Qadeer & Richard Hunt, OCAD U

  • 'Show & Tell' by Sheeraz Waria

Date: Friday, March 26th at 1:00 PM ET


Register here


You can check all Design Educators Conference Webinars dates here.


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Theme: Expand – the experience

Making Real: or Why We Don’t Teach Speculative Design


Presented by Ali S. Qadeer & Richard Hunt, Graphic Designers & Faculty at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario


In the past 20 years, design departments in higher education the term “speculation” has become a shortcut for critical engagement, creativity, and political commitment. However, speculative practice has itself developed a dogma with tools and methods which are rarely challenged. Ali and Richard propose a return to the function of professional practice as a means for “making real”: real publications, real artworks and artefacts, objects, systems and spaces that operate against prototype logics and in favour of performing their function beyond artifice. Making real things is an opportunity for students to develop a rich, critical and nuanced understanding of their own processes as makers. Using examples, they propose a mode of teaching design rooted in the development of independent, self-driven designers who use their practices to analyze and engage with the world, rather than in the construction of extrapolated utopias or dystopias. Asking students to engage with the world in the creation of design allows them to create meaning and artefact simultaneously.



  • How do we decide who and what to include in the experience of design education?
  • How can we better bridge the gap between the education space and ‘making real’ world design systems that teach students about industry concepts and processes?
  • How do we design curriculum to best resemble the life cycle of real-world design projects?


Show and Tell: Student Engagement and Virtual Design Studio

Presented by Sheeraz Waria, Graphic Designer & Educator at George Brown and Sheridan Colleges, Toronto/Oakville, Ontario


One of the core aspects of UDL is to create opportunities for students to be better engaged and to feel more involved in their learning, and to maintain that what they are learning is relevant and important. All students have ideas and something to share, they all have goals and a reason for being a part of a programme, but not all of them share those ideas directly. The ‘Show & Tell’ approach encourages them to share their passions, aspirations, influences and/or motivations for being in this field. This presentation reviews the effect of this initiative and how it impacted individual student participation and the student body as a whole, as a part of an online community. Itl takes into consideration student feed-back and personal observation, to further the idea in making it a tool for constructive discourse and reasoned conversation. The key idea here being able to help students to connect better with the course content and with each other, by sharing ideas, get inspired and be excited about the field they are in.


  • How do you empower students to become active learners?
  • How do we train and create an ecosystem of resilience?
  • What is the importance of autonomy in the educational environment?
  • How do we balance learning and autonomy in this space?
  • How do we create a safe space for sharing aspirations, passions, influences and motivations in the classroom (virtual and in-person)?