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IDSA Design Learning Challenge

IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2013 Participants Seek Collaborators!
A record breaking number of participants have signed up across North America for the IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2013.

In partnership with the National Art Education Association, IDSA offers all K-12 educators and students the opportunity to participate in a highly interactive and collaborative learning process grounded in creativity, problem solving, and innovative thinking. The goal is for students to explore infinite creative ideas and tackle a problem worth solving within their classroom, school, neighborhood, and community.

Now is the time for you to become involved. If you are a college art student, opportunities to collaborate with K-12 classrooms are ramping up in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Kansas with more in the wings. If you are a K-12 educator, no worries there is still time to sign up – design practitioners along with college art and design students eagerly anticipate your partnership in New York, Michigan, and Georgia. To Sign Up for Challenge 2013, please visit:

Igniting 21st Century Learning Skills through Design


Challenge Overview
The primary purpose of the IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2012 was to expose young students to design thinking and create an active awareness of the discipline of industrial design and the design process.

Embracing a Learn.Think.Do approach, each Design Learning Challenge 2012 Team focused on one of the three submission categories: Design Day Event, Targeted Design Project or Industrial Design Awareness Campaign.

The 2012 Submission Guidelines provided a systematic, yet flexible, action research framework for students to follow as they conducted, analyzed, represented, and submitted their final design learning study report. Each team told their contextual story, with content supported by a beginning, middle, and end.

First Place
Industrial Design Student: Jessica Fertig and Art Education Student: Alison Crane
University of Kansas at Lawrence and CAPS Summer Camp
Raising Design Awareness
The goal of this study was to provide students with the opportunity to be involved with real world projects, develop their own solutions to a problem, and become aware of design and its application.

Tie for Second Place
Industrial Design Students: Ryan Woelkers, Christian Loos, Michelle Hodulik, Adam Letherby, and Kristina Gaudio along with Mentors: Mr. Garreth Heidt and Professor Götz Unger
Philadelphia University and Perkiomen Valley Middle School East
The purpose of this project was to invite 6th-8th grade students to develop, focus, and refine their ideas as they designed, implemented, and tested the installation of their annual Poetry Café celebration experience.

Masters of Industrial Design Student: Anna Marie Smith and Mentor: D'Wayne Edwards
North Carolina State University and Holly Grove Middle School
Sole Stories Workshop
The primary motivation behind this project was the lack of awareness around the field of Industrial Design. The secondary motivation is focused on integrating design into core curriculum classes.

Honorable Mention
Barbara Nioo-Manesh and Students
Olathe East High School, Art Department and Environmental Design Facilitator
DLC Lighting Design
This study engaged high school students in becoming designers as instructed and guided by their visual arts and technology education teacher. With safety as a high concern, the students focused on sustainability, the use of recycled materials, and student-driven research using a problem solving process.

Jury Members

David Weightman, IDSA - Design Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
David Weightman graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1970 with a master’s in industrial design engineering. His career has been a combination of working in higher education and later in senior administrative positions in research and consultancy activities.  Until recently he was the director of the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he continues as a senior faculty member in the industrial design program.  Before that he was the dean of the School of Art + Design at Staffordshire University in the U.K. Weightman has been a consultant to companies such as Yamaha, Massey Ferguson, British Rail, BBC television, the Tate Gallery and even a burrow for Jonathan Millers Alice in Wonderland movie. His current research is in the relationship between product users and the design and manufacturing process, particularly the new relationships enabled by digital technology.

Shelley Takahashi, MBA, IDSA - Design Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Shelley Takahashi, IDSA is an industrial designer with 18 years of experience in product design as well as marketing strategy and business management for products in the specialty and mass markets. She has developed electronics, toys, furniture, sporting goods, cut & sew, medical products and plastic goods. She has extensive product development experience working and traveling to Hong Kong and China. She currently teaches industrial design at California State University, Long Beach and the Art Institute of CA in Orange County and Hollywood. She is an advisor to the Da Vinci High School in Los Angeles and is the Chair for IDSA-LA. Takahashi has her bachelor’s in industrial design from California State University, Long Beach and her master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University.

Robin Vande Zande, PhD - Associate Professor of Art Education, Kent State University
Robin Vande Zande is an associate professor and coordinator of art education at Kent State University.  Her research area and publications include topics such as teaching sustainable design; design education and brain-based principles; the design process of problem solving; and teaching aesthetics through everyday objects.  She has been a guest speaker at national and state events, speaking on the advantages of teaching design in PreK-12 settings as it relates to social responsibility and the economy. As the chair of the Design Issues Group of the National Art Education Association and a member of the Education Committee of the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, Robin has been a consultant for the Frank Lloyd Wright Wescott House Museum and the Design Lab Early College High School.  Vande Zande is co-founder of DESIGN-ED, an organization of teachers, educational institutions, organizations, businesses, and museums that support design education initiatives in PreK-12 schools.

Jared Vanscoder, MEd - Design Educator, Irving High School
Jared Vanscoder's passion falls where learning, design, and technology intersect. He completed his undergraduate work in Industrial Design at the University of Houston, his graduate work in Educational Technology at Texas A&M Commerce, and is currently working towards a PhD in Educational Computing at the University of North Texas. His research includes the design and development of intelligent learning systems and environments; or 'Smart Schools'. Jared has worked in engineering, architecture, product design, and education. Currently he is the lead faculty member at Irving High School in the design & engineering program. And he serves as the STEM academy coordinator. His passion for design education in K12 is evident in his classroom. His use of problem based learning and design thinking has proven to instill innovation and creativity in students.

Linda Keane, AIA, NCARB - Professor of Architecture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Linda Keane is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an architect, artist, environmental designer, and leader in creativity education. Linda endeavors to enhance learning opportunities that blur the boundaries of work, play, and fun. Keane collaborates with diverse communities to tune identities, generate ideas, unearth visualizations, explore place making, and design education. Linda is committed to educating the general public about the value and importance of design emphasizes use of convergent media and long distance technology dialogued learning while encouraging experiential engagement. As a non-profit, Linda is a partner in, a 24/7 K12 long distance technology dialogue design education web based curriculum that introduces design thinking to children. Linda has studied architecture in London, Paris, Barcelona, Chicago and Istanbul.


Doris Wells-Papanek, MEd, IDSA - Principal, Tailored Learning Tools
As principal of Tailored Learning Tools, Doris Wells-Papanek, MEd, IDSA collaborates with educators, practitioners and learners to design and research learning experiences. Doris has coached educators and learners of all ages, authored papers and presented at conferences. She has co-authored and published five research-based and learning-centered books. Wells-Papanek also collaborates with companies and learning organizations such as Apple and Xerox, as well as Waukegan Public Schools and University of Illinois. Doris holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction design from National-Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in product and environmental design from the Kansas City Art Institute & School of Design.

Clive Roux - CEO of IDSA
Clive Roux is the CEO of the Industrial Designers Society of America, the world’s largest professional society of product and industrial designers. In addition, Clive is the CEO of the Design Foundation, the charitable arm of the IDSA that concentrates on education, scholarships, and professional development. He brings to the IDSA a deep experience of design on all continents as well as an acute sensibility of the intersection between design and business. Clive has established a design awareness initiative for grades K-12 with a long-term goal for all students. Roux holds a bachelor of technology in industrial design from Witwatersrand Technikon, South Africa.


Lunar Design
John Edson, President
LUNAR is so pleased to be involved with the Design Learning Challenge. We believe that creativity has a crucial role to play in our educational development, and we love to see how IDSA and Doris Wells-Papanek are designing an approach that will bring the resources of the industrial design community to K-12 students around the country.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Visit the IDSA Website or contact Doris Wells-Papanek, MEd, at