Higher Education Summit

Chicago, IL // 2012


In March of 2012, a group of innovative college students were invited to the Cannon Design Chicago office to redesign the future of higher education.  These innovative student leaders and organizers from universities across the United States launched an intimate, immersive, multi-day, discussion that explored post-secondary education as an open-ended design problem.

The students were tasked to create simple rules to modify the complexity of problems we find ourselves facing in higher education. Students representing Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, University of Oregon, University of Hartford, Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and Arizona State University developed three concepts, which they pitched to a group of local professionals.

From within this dynamic network of design-minded students, Cannon Designers, MNML, Design for AmericaFirebellyUBetter World by Design, and Greater Good Studio, came three new platforms for life-long learning.

SAFARI: How can students map their own learning pathways? This group would like to prototype an interactive resume as a way to document and validate learning experiences outside of the institution.

PAUSE/PLAY: How can higher education be more like kindergarten? This group designed a curriculum based on self-awareness and generating your own learning outcomes.

ED.URBAN: How can the city itself be an open access educational platform? This group pitched a shared database and city pass for citizens to work, study, and learn within an ecology of mentors.

Join the conversation on their Facebook group, Design + Higher Education.

How can we empower students to design their own education?


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