Blog 5 | February 26, 2021

Hello and welcome!

We are happy to announce that the Steering Committee has been working hard to deliver some new and exciting things for the Future of Design Education, which we are looking forward to share with you all.

Your Feedback on Themes and Topics

Many of you provided us with feedback on our themes, principles, and characteristics of graduating students. Principles are beliefs and values (ethics, sustainability, and inclusiveness, for example) that serve as lenses through which subject matter should be interpreted.

Guided by your insightful feedback, we crafted the material in our “Overview” document.

The 600

Shortly after announcing our initiative for the Future of Design Education and our need for volunteers, over 600 of you reached out and volunteered to help, hence our title for you, The 600.

Starting the Working Groups

The foundation is set and it's time for us to begin to build the Future of Design Education together, which is why we are now launching the second stage of our initiative, forming the first Working Groups.

What is a Working Group? About 10 people for each of our central themes. While some themes address curricular subject matter, others relate to the circumstances in which design is taught. In this way, the initiative will address design content and the wide variety of settings through which students learn to design.

On Friday, February 19th, we are launching the first seven working groups, each with two to four leaders. Group leaders will soon be filling out the membership of the groups, primarily from the 600. (In a few cases, qualified individuals who had not signed up are being enlisted.)

At the moment, we have identified a total of 21 Working groups that will be needed. This number will change as we progress with our work: some groups will merge with others or prove unnecessary while new groups might be formed. We expect that this work in progress will always be dynamic. We will start slowly with a few groups to ensure they work well before expanding to the full set.

Each group will start by writing a short preamble (~2 pages) that defines the scope of their work and that deliverable, such as the list of topics that are for everyone (core), for advanced study in specializations (specialized) or that are electives, optional.

Working groups will provide periodic progress reports to the Steering Committee to enable all working groups to remain coordinated.

Will it be a lot of work? Yes, but the results will be important, used by design educators around the world.

New Website Coming Soon!

We are very fortunate to have a team of professionals from IBM Design who have volunteered to redesign our website and communications. They are already handling surveys and analytics. Thank you, IBM Design! Expect to see some changes in the early part of 2021, both in the website and in our (hopefully) more frequent communications with all of you.

An Essay Series: Call for Submissions

We seek a series of essays that expand upon the ideas required for teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum (courses). We want to tap your wisdom through short essays on topics relevant to this initiative. Selected essays will be published on the Future of Design Education website.


We are forming a small editorial team to read and advise authors on essays. Although these are not peer-reviewed journal articles, we will follow a reduced set of journal editing principles. The Editorial team will review all submissions. Some essays may be returned with suggestions for improvement.

What format should you follow? Use any of the standard forms for publications. Some of us prefer the Style Manual of the American Psychological Association (which is used by many different scientific disciplines). Others favor the “Chicago Manual of Style.”

Write in an engaging style: use first-person writing, with active sentences (instead of passive ones).

How long is short? Between 2 and 10 pages (including figures but not including references).

More information about the essay series will be posted on our new website "Real Soon Now."  You can start writing now, but wait to submit it until the new website is up. This will also include the way to submit the essay.

Intellectual property

Authors will own and control all uses of their articles: they are free to post them or reuse the content. Authors will be asked to give the Initiative permission to post and reuse these essays for the purposes of the initiative. We will always give full credit and names of the authors.

Traditional academic journals do not like to publish articles that have already been published or that are widely available, but these short essays should not interfere with the ability of authors to expand the essays for future publication.

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