Design Forge 2022 to focus on the impact of design thinking pedagogies

The annual Design Forge will last from April 7 through April 9 with a series of discussion and events featuring Elon faculty and design thinking professionals from around the world.

The impact of design thinking pedagogies will be discussed during the three-day fourth annual Design Forge, scheduled to take place from Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9 in the Center for Design Thinking.

“I would love attendees to take away resources and strategies relevant for enhancing their design thinking teaching practices and assessment efforts within their communities as well as relationships for supporting their future efforts,” said Danielle Lake, director of Design Thinking at Elon.

Registration links for all sessions during Design Forge 2022 can be found here. Many sessions will also be streamed live for virtual attendees.

The first day of the forge includes virtual visioning talks led by Pierce Otlhogile-Gordon, director of the Equity Innovation Studio at Think Rubix LLC, and Adam Royalty, the founder of the Entrepreneurship Design Studio at Columbia University.

There will also be a series of breakout Zoom sessions hosted by Elon faculty Tracey Thurnes, Phillip Motley and Rozana Carducci; students Soniyah Robinson and Morgan Kearns; and alumni Tyson Glover and Mackenzie Hahn. Other prominent figures across the design thinking community will host breakout Zoom sessions as well.

Friday is the cornerstone day of the three-day event and kicks off with a keynote and interactive workshop from Jeanne Liedtka, strategist and professor of business administration at the Darden School of the University of Virginia. Liedtka is one of the leader researchers in the field. She has published over seven books, innumerable articles and taught thousands of students from the business, nonprofit and government sectors.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., attendees will get the chance to “stay and play” via a Maker Madness lunch. The connecting doors between the Center and the Maker Hub will be opened for them to work on unique projects to commemorate their time at Elon.

At 1:30, Lesley-Ann Noel, assistant professor of design studies at North Carolina State University, and Omari Souza, a design scholar and activist, will hold a Story & Strategy Session on redesigning higher education and co-design pedagogies. The last session of the day is an interactive workshop facilitated by Eugene Korsunskiy, the Future of Design in Higher Education executive director and associate professor of design thinking at Dartmouth College.

The final day of the forge will have a choice between one of two “Choose Your Own Adventure” sessions from 9 to 9:55 a.m. on Saturday. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., the 2022 Design Forge will conclude with a closing keynote and interactive workshop with Carlye Lauff, assistant professor of product design at the University of Minnesota.

Created to be a more of a collaborative convening of minds, as opposed to a passive conference, the forge also relies on a lot of work from students, Lake said.

From photographers to graphic designers, Lake said that planning and setup of the Design Forge depend heavily on the dedication and work of the students involved.

“The overall goal is to explore what we know about the impact of design thinking practices for supporting high impact learning opportunities, framing what we need to know moving forward and generating strategies for critically studying the value and challenges of these practices across higher education,” Lake said.