The Center for Design Thinking prepares for 2021 Design Forge with speaker series on Participatory Design Practices

The Center for Design Thinking is hosting a variety of events ahead of its fourth annual Design Forge which is scheduled for June 3-4, 2021.

Since 2008, educators, thought leaders, and design practitioners have gathered at Elon’s Center for Design Thinking to collaborate and find new opportunities for design thinking to enhance student learning. This year, the fourth annual Design Forge is set to take place on June 3-4.

The 2021 Forge will explore how design thinking pedagogies might support the cultivation of participatory placemaking practices.

The Center is pursuing a hybrid, place-based format this year that will allow for in-person and virtual translocal learning.

“I think the Forge provides students and faculty a space to create projects that have an active effect on the community,” said Megan Boericke ‘20, a graphic designer and lead brand designer for the center.  “It’s also a place to build a network of like-minded individuals that spans outside Elon’s campus who are looking to support and collaborate on these projects.”

The Design Forge offers the chance to partake in participatory place-based learning.

Interested participants can stay up-to-date by registering their interest here. 

Ahead of the Design Forge this summer, the Center is hosting a speaker series that will follow the themes of Elon by Design’s framework for design thinking.

The speaker series, which is occurring throughout the year, will apply design thinking methods to a variety of real-world issues.

The featured speakers include Professor Emeritus Anthony Weston, who will discuss the vision and barriers behind building an intentional agrarian community in Mebane, North Carolina. Weston will be presenting virtually on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Following Weston, Jacqueline McLaughlin will review various ways in which design thinking has been applied within healthcare, and will describe how design mindsets could help address current health challenges. McLaughlin, an associate professor and director of CIPhER (Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education and Research) at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, will share her presentation virtually on Monday, Feb. 22.

“I’m excited to sustain the work of the Power and Place Collaborative through this speaker series,” said Director of Design Thinking Danielle Lake. “This is a great way to build relationships and imagine projects for the Forge in June.”

The Power and Place Collaborative, a partnership between the African American Cultural Arts & History Museum, Elon University, the K.I.N.G. Academy, and the Mayco Bigelow Community Center, created over a dozen stories about Burlington’s African American communities in the fall of 2020.

The Center for Design Thinking offers a collaborative space for workshops and other events.

In addition to featuring speakers this spring, the Center is also offering a series of in-person and virtual workshops.

These interactive experiences allow participants to explore how they might address situated complex problems using design thinking methods and tools. Check out Center workshop offerings and request one of your own here.