rethinking design education

To create design education for the 21st Century that will equip designers with the skills and perspectives to design more inclusive, sustainable, equitable, and responsible future products, systems, organizations, and societies.

Challenges for Design

Many college design programs still focus on the surface appearance of artifacts, despite declining employment in this type of practice, accelerating socio-technical effects of the information revolution, and rising consequences for life on the planet. Current and emerging conditions call for rethinking design education for the 21st century.

Designers today are asked to address new situations and consequences at scales very different from those of the past.

More than 100 design practitioners and educators joined in authoring curricular recommendations for college design programs. Participants varied widely in their cultural, disciplinary, and institutional affiliations. Their work was informed by 700 survey respondents worldwide in support of an ethical design approach to the complex interactions among natural, social, and technical systems.

This website explains the origins and structure of the Future of Design Education, a description of the shifting paradigm of design practice that curricular recommendations address, and a link to the publication of findings and curricular recommendations in an open access special issue of She Ji, TheJournal of Design, Economics, and Innovation at:

Stages of the initiative

icon - 650+ people have volunteered to help with this initiative


681 people have volunteered to help with the initiative and will either contribute directly on curricular workgroups or will provide input and feedback to them

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The strategy and directional guidance for the initiative has been created (see: Work)

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Curricular workgroups are being formed (seven at the moment and the remaining fourteen in the near future)

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New curricula developed by the workgroups will be published on this site when they are available (in approximately six to twelve months)