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Worldwide collaboration connects designers of the future
Published: 29th January 2014, 2:31pm

A network of industry-leading designers, artists and educators will contemplate the future of our creative industries as part of a worldwide design challenge hosted by the University of Lincoln, UK.

The Jobs 2050 Design Learning Challenge will see luminaries of the design world from across the UK, the USA and China look ahead to 2050, and work together to anticipate the nature of education and employment for the next generation of creatives.

Launched by Doris Wells-Papanek, Director of the Design Learning Network in the US, and David Bramston, Principal Lecturer (Enterprise) at the University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design, the three-day event follows the success of the team’s inaugural trans-Atlantic collaboration, the Chicago-Lincoln Design Learning Challenge, which took place in August 2013 and is documented in the short film above.

The Jobs 2050 Design Learning Challenge will take place from 11th – 13th February 2014, and will task participants with contemplating an increasingly entrepreneurial society. Designers and educators will be joined by a host of local primary and secondary school pupils as well as university students, and together they will work together to mastermind creative employment solutions for job-seekers of the future. These could include innovative technologies, inspiring campaigns, advanced workspaces, new products, or novel ways of working collaboratively.

Doris Wells-Papanek said: “By 2050, students who graduate from high school in 2015 will be over 50 and babies born today will be in their 30s. The university students and school pupils who engage in this challenge with our network of professional designers will therefore be addressing the learning needs of the next generation of creative problem solvers as well as their own.”

The workshop programme will offer over 500 participants a unique opportunity to work with their international peers, sitting 5,000 miles away, in real-time through Skype. The Design Learning Challenges have been pioneered to provide a valuable platform for the international creative community to share ideas and experiences, and contemplate design questions that have real potential to impact everyday lives.

David Bramston is the Programme Leader for the MA International Design Enterprise (MAIDE) at the University of Lincoln, an innovative programme that promotes the opportunities available to designers working on a global scale. The Jobs 2050 Design Learning Challenge is taking place in preparation for a workshop of the same theme at the Kansas City Design Week, in which the MAIDE team will participate.

David said: “International communication is central to our MAIDE course here at Lincoln. Our postgraduate students are already participating in projects with design partners around the world; in Beijing, Philadelphia, Toronto, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The programme actively encourages students to engage with the international design community, creating new proposals for a wide range of clients, trade fairs and exhibitions.

“We are delighted to be bringing the creative sector together again with our second Design Learning Challenge. Here at Lincoln we share a vision with Doris; to create effective and sustainable links between designers and educational institutions on a global scale. We hope this project will encourage the community to embrace new forms of communication, to help solve design challenges of the future.”

The Jobs 2050 Design Learning Challenge will take place from 10am–2pm on Tuesday 11th February, from 3pm–8pm on Wednesday 12th February, and from 10am-12pm on Thursday 13th February. The challenge will be hosted in the Lincoln School of Art and Design’s new £11 million building on the University’s Brayford Pool Campus, from which design teams will connect with fellow practitioners in Kansas City and Boston in America, and cities including Nanjing, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai in China.

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