This one-term-long project class was titled "How to create things and have them matter", and the project goal was to dream up new technologies for a far future that will change the world for the better.
The class is without prerequisites and only asks that the students are driven by their own passions and interests to motivate their own learning.
There is little structure to the course, but the class offers resources by connecting students with a variety of experts in business, science, art, and design. The students are gently guided by the instructors as they get a consequence-free chance to navigate a messy and difficult problem to solve. At the end of the term, the class offers students the opportunity to continue developing their ideas over the summer in an intensive, entrepreneurial design workshop.
Coming to Strate Design School in Paris and working with design students is a crucial starting element of their summer workshop, a very invigorating and exciting way to be exposed to the way designers work. Through the workshop, the students will gain a unique perspective on their projects, adding aesthetics and a designer’s focus to their chosen research problem. In no other context do the students have such a rapid yet intense immersion into the design process. Also, the opportunity to travel to Paris invigorates students with a new environment, and hopefully generates new questions about art, architecture, and society as a whole.
With no prerequisites, the group of students assembled consequently come from many different backgrounds, spanning the liberal arts, the sciences, and the design school. They are mostly 4th year graduating seniors, though there are some younger and older post-graduate students as well.
For their projects the students were focused on four themes: food, fashion, elderly care, and environment. Each project group was asked to develop a technological solution for a major issue in their theme topic, one that avoids being iterative on existing technologies, for a potential future in year 2050.
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