MID Alumnae to Present Thesis Work at Design Education Conference

Kelly Babcock MID '13 and Alex Visconti MID '13 to present 'Truss: A Partnership for Design and Education' at 'Design-Ed Future 2013'

June 20, 2013

Recent alumnae Kelly Babcock MID '13 (Industrial Design) and Alex Visconti MID '13 (Industrial Design) will present their thesis work "Truss: A Partnership for Design and Education" at "Design-Ed Future 2013: Design Education Conference" being held June 28 and 29 at the University of the Arts. The presentation will take place during the Design-Ed Future's "unconference" segment on Saturday, June 29 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

During the first year of their studies, Babcock and Visconti explored the world of alternative learning spaces through their work with YouthBuild Charter School, a vocational charter school for high school dropouts, and the Free Library of Philadelphia teen services. They employed design research methods, such as ethnographic observation and interviewing as well as generative participatory activities, to gain a deep understanding of issues such as chronic low attendance, and how to build programming and physical spaces for young adults.

This experience naturally led them to focus their thesis work within public, secondary education. “Truss: A Partnership for Design and Education” outlines a model for partnership between university design students and public school teachers to support the implementation and sustainability of design-based learning.

It tells the story of Babcock and Visconti’s own experience working with a principal intern/American history teacher at the Franklin Learning Center, a high school in the Philadelphia public school system, where they implemented a design-based learning project to build 21st century skills in a class of junior students.

This experience provided the opportunity to outline the roles, responsibilities and relationships between the design student and public school teacher. Through this innovative model for partnership, they hope to alleviate some of the main stresses or obstacles teachers face when implementing a new way of teaching.

Babcock and Visconti will be speaking about their experience as designers in the classroom, and will be focusing their discussion on the five things they found to be most influential in shaping the roles and relationship between the university design student and the teacher. These key learnings include lesson and activity planning, direct instruction and facilitation, building creative confidence, assessment of understanding, and organizing reflection.

Their presentation will be followed by time for Q&A and discussion.

View All News