With the increasing complexity of social, technological, and ecological challenges, design — as a process and a way of thinking — has subsequently expanded its focus to become a leading agent of social transformation and innovation. Designers have at their disposal a number of powerful tools and methods which give them a unique ability to initiate meaningful change in communities, organizations, and businesses. But how do these design tools and methods translate across cultural, linguistic, and geographical lines? And how do the underlying assumptions and values embedded within these practices sit within in other cultural contexts?
With these questions in mind, four MID graduate students (Vrouyr Joubanian, Nidhi Jalwal, Min-Wen Yeh, Jordan Shade) and MID faculty member, Prof. Jonas Milder, travelled to Beirut, Lebanon on June 3rd to begin a design research project exploring the translation of design methods and tools across cultures. Through workshops and focused fieldwork, the MID team will initiate a month-long design collaboration with Lebanese students and designers in which they together will explore the shifting definition and application of design methods and tools in the Beirut context. The project will culminate with an exhibition and public presentation and discussion of the experience by the MID graduate students and MID Program Director, Prof. Jeremy Beaudry, during the 2nd annual Beirut Design Week, a series of exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and screenings which explores the role of design in contemporary culture, society, education and economy (June 24-30).
This project is generously supported by The University of the Arts Faculty and Academic Development Fund, with special assistance from Associate Provost Jim Savoie. Essential to the project has been our partnership with the MENA Design Research Center, a Beirut-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of design and developing its role as a creative tool for the enhancement of society at large in the Middle East and North Africa. Doreen Toutikian, Director MENA DRC & Co-Founder, has been instrumental in helping us frame the project and organize the logistics for our visit. Studio work space for the MID team has been kindly provided by AltCity, a co-working and incubator space created to facilitate, mobilize, encourage, and support high impact entrepreneurship and innovation in Lebanon and the region.MID Students and Faculty Travel to Beirut
Tags: beirut, design, design research, social innovation
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2013 at 3:22 pm by azahn123.