DESIGN ACROSS THE CURRICULUM AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY project launch booklet
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Beginning. This booklet lays out the core context, intentions, and logistics of the launch of the Design Across the Curriculum Initiative at Georgetown University. It is the first in a series of publications aimed at making our eďŹ€orts accessible to the Georgetown community and beyond.
Intentions. The role that design plays in society is changing. Today, design is emerging as a versatile vehicle for creative action â€“ a way of thinking and working that drives innovation in every sector of society. As an institution with a long tradition of creative leadership, Georgetown University is at the forefront of this movement. Design and creative action are fundamental features of Georgetown's ethos, and our distinct approach to design is manifest in a number of design-driven endeavors. The purpose of the Design Across the Curriculum (DxC) initiative is to move these design endeavors forward in a way that leverages their distributed nature. DxC is a cross-boundary initiative directed by the Provost's oďŹƒce to build a university-wide design leadership structure to advance design as a core component of the curriculum and steward design education into the future.
The major nodes. There are at least five active design endeavors at Georgetown that have already helped to define and embed design as an academic and strategic initiative. Designing the Future(s) of the University. This integrative initiative engages the whole Georgetown community to explore the issues facing higher education and actively experiment with new ways to deliver the education we value. Rather than responding to potential disruptions facing higher education by trying to hold on to outdated practices, Georgetown can make a distinctive contribution to this discourse by treating the question of our future as a design challenge. The initiative serves as the umbrella under which all of Georgetownâ€™s institutional design and visioning is taking place. Beeck Center for Social Innovation and Impact. The Beeck Center exists to inspire and prepare students, faculty, and global leaders with the necessary skills to generate and innovate solution-based social change both locally and internationally. It
will promote collaborative spaces for fostering innovation and provide experiential opportunities to pragmatically impact the social sector. Intentionally situated under the Oﬃce of the Provost, the center aims to break down silos and collaborate across schools and disciplines to make the most impact. Built to evolve, the center embraces iterative approaches and a startup mindset that encourages students to take action. Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) began with a mission to bridge a historic gulf between pedagogy and technological advances, and today CNDLS is Georgetown's primary center for new learning designs and emerging environments, bridging theory, practice, evidence, and assessment in cycles of intellectual design. EthicsLab. EthicsLab is a strategic design lab by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown. It brings together bioethics experts, designers, and industry stakeholders in projects that take a radically diﬀerent strategy to eﬀecting change around complex bioethics issues. In doing so, EthicsLab is pioneering both a new practice of strategic design and a new way of making progress in bioethics. EthicsLab also hosts experimental classes that use design studio methods to approach bioethics problems. h.innovation. Georgetown's innovation initiative aims to facilitate an ecosystem of innovation through student, faculty, staﬀ and alumni collaboration. The initiative runs hackathons and hosts innovation summits that bring entrepreneurs, programmers, business leaders, and academics to campus to inspire and mentor students.
The on-campus network. Design and creativity influence other important areas of the university, including the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, interdisciplinary programming in the visual and performing arts, programming across multiple schools, entrepreneurship and innovation, the Gelardin New Media Center, and a number of student-run organizations.
Alumni and external partnership network. The Georgetown design community also includes a rapidly growing number of alumni leading design work, as well as partnerships with external stakeholders (e.g., startups, nonprofits, institutions) whose work is driven by design.
Connecting the nodes and mapping the curriculum. The Design Across the Curriculum initiative seeks to identify, explore and build community among these diverse sites of design activity. The first year of the initiative serves as the venture phase, where we intend to start building and stewarding the initial design network and connecting it structurally to the curriculum. This network will span the major nodes, the extended on-campus network, the alumni design network, and other stakeholders and projects outside of the Georgetown community. The venture phase will include intensive mapping of current curricular and co-curricular activities, horizontally across the Core to reach as many students as possible, and vertically, creating an alternative roadmap to the curriculum for students interested in pursuing design.
Scaling the network and embedding practices. The following two years of the initiative will seek to further develop design curriculum and expand the design network. The second year will serve as a transitional venture phase, continuing experimentation, definition, network expansion, and stewardship. By the third year, we hope to focus on scaling the initiative and embedding design as a permanent structural component of the curriculum.
Spring 2015 First pilot of Course Cluster "Strategic Design and Complex Problems" and other curricular and co-curricular experiments
January 2014 Project launches exploratory and community-building phase
May 2014 Alumni Pathways Project with emphasis on design skills and courses
Fall 2014 Pilot Alternative Roadmap to the curriculum for students interested in design, innovation and creativity
Spring 2017 Design becomes structurally embedded and connected across the University
Spring 2016 Continued curricular and co-curricular expansion around design, alumni and stakeholder network development
A Georgetown Signature. At the launch of the Designing the Future(s) of the University Initiative, President DeGioia aﬃrmed the three fundamental elements that constitute “the university”: the formation of men and women, the creation of knowledge, and serving the public good and the common good. These three functions are not only essential but deeply interrelated. Georgetown’s approach to design will impact all three of these elements and speak to their interdependent nature. That is, the use of design approaches to complex problems helps develop students’ sense of self and their sense of others; it has the capacity to bridge theory to action and engage students and faculty in authentic work for the common good. Design helps build a bridge from the world back to the curriculum and enrich the tools by which University acts as a force of change. In these contexts, the emerging signature Georgetown approach to design is fundamentally connected to a sense of ethical inquiry, inclusive community, and engagement of the whole person in pursuing the most enduring questions and pressing problems of this historical moment.
Get involved. Be part of the Alumni Pathways project by telling us about the role of design in your work and life. Be part of the stakeholder network to engage in curricular, cocurricular, and internship opportunities. Make a gift to help support the development of the Design Across the Curriculum initiative.
Get in touch. The Design Across the Curriculum initiative is coordinated through the OďŹƒce of the Provost under the direction of Dr. Randy Bass, Vice Provost of Education, with the design consultancy, Mighty. If you have questions or would like to get involved, please contact Catherine Armour, Director of Education and Academic AďŹ€airs, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The launch of the Design Across the Curriculum initiative was made possible by a venture gift from Marie Hurabiell (C'92).
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