• Siddhi Gupta

Educators and designers can and want to work together

Updated: May 23, 2020

The is a reflection from our discussion/workshop on 'What education does+What design can do' conducted online on 17th May 2020.

As a designer by education interested in education one of the primary objectives of this discussion was to understand if there were other designers and educators interested in working together. If there were others, we wanted to work with them and if there weren't, then we wanted to convince some of them that this was possible and take it beyond to say why it was necessary.

It is impossible to put it in so many words what education does for the learner and the educator, so instead of informing the audience we asked them this question. The responses set the tone for the next two hours where we hoped to understand how we could all work together in our collective aspiration to change something in the Indian education system.

In the next section we moved into discussing how education is considered a primary solution to some of our biggest problems. But what about the problems within education - the inaccessibility of the system, lack of teacher training, outdated curriculum objectives and so on. This wasn't new information but it was important to see what problems are affecting us the most today. On a more positive note, we progressed from there into discussing successful design interventions in education. These were from different sectors with different design applications and objectives.

As an undergraduate and post graduate student in Communication design, I wanted to share my interpretation of the obstacles in Indian education as a communication design problem. What solutions can we design so that the policy makers aspirations can be translated into actions for the educator and knowledge for the learner.

To put into action what we had discussed thus far we put ourselves to a task. In the second half we divided ourselves into groups with each group having at least one and maximum two of each an educator, creative practitioner and those who registered as both. The task was simple, the group had to design a photocopiable, black and white, visual worksheet which fulfilled both kala and curriculum objectives. In a very short time the groups responded with pertinent and innovative ideas. The purpose of the workshop had been actualised, educators and creative practitioners were working together to meet common objectives.

We concluded with an art bingo, feedback and sharing of details for the next events.

Do join us for the next event on 14th June 2020, where we will be discussing 'Designing Education : Environment, Experience and Engagement.