As the world continues to expand and business partnerships become ever more global, CEO’s and project managers are consistently looking for news ways to innovate and stay ahead of their competition. Likewise, the most pressing issues such as homelessness, poverty, and global warming still plague our world necessitating a change of approach in order to reverse these dilemmas.
While the world waits for the next invention, advocates of design are calling for a revolution and a new way of thinking. Consistently thought of as “cosmetics” and “final touches,” design has been regulated to the confines of grade school arts-and-crafts. However, those who understand the true potential of design and design thinking realize the creative and innovative potential the profession offers. As corporations and the real-world ring the bell for original, innovative, and out-of-the-box employees, schools across the country are eliminating student’s creative outlet, art class, and instead are delivering soldier-like droids whose capabilities are pre-determined by standardized tests.
In order to combat the test-driven principles of the education system and display the true potential design has, a new method must be developed. A method rooted in social entrepreneurship in order to pass along the process, tools, and techniques that will help any individual look beyond their scope of the world and not only see the potential, but begin to attain it.
Project: spARCH (pronounced ‘spark’) is a high school design studio that teaches 25 inner-city high school students in Cincinnati, Ohio about the power of design thinking through architecture. Hughes STEM High School is a non-selective inner city public school that serves an at-risk population, primarily African-American, and focuses on helping students apply their education to the real world through business and community partnerships in the Greater Cincinnati Area.
By following a process that focuses on breaking down the creative barrier and opening student’s minds to new ways of thinking, students will be taught how creative problem solving, critical thinking, and out-of-the-box approaches can extend beyond the classroom and apply to situations in their own lives.
With a series of guest mentors from professional firms around the Greater CIncinnati Area as well as local organizations heads and faculty members from the University of Cincinnati, students will be able to obtain guidance, inspiration, and first hand knowledge about how the skills taught in this course can be applied beyond the typical “walls” of design and the classroom.