SummerStudio: Design Thinking for Social Equity

Explore the transformative power of Human-Centered Design Thinking to equip art educators and students as creative problem solvers in designing a better world!

July 18-22 | Dallas, TX

SummerStudio: Design Thinking for Social Equity will explore the visionary role of Human-Centered Design to guide learners in the creative problem solving process of Design Thinking, an inventive process through which problems are identified, solutions proposed and produced, and the results evaluated.

SPONSORED BY University of Texas at Dallas, School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications (ATEC); Crayola; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Gensler


This SummerStudio is hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas, School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications (ATEC), home to visionary artists, scientists, designers, engineers, and researchers, who collaborate on important cutting-edge trends of the future. Participants will be inspired by the state-of-the-arts Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, designed by STUDIOS, architect for some of the world’s most creative and cutting edge media, entertainment, and technology firms, including Google, Apple, Walt Disney Co., Microsoft, and others.

Contributing Partners

University of Texas at Dallas, School of Art, Technology, and Emerging Communications (ATEC) ; O’Donnell Foundation, funder of AP Arts and Music Incentive Program at National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI); Gensler, an integrated architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm with 5000+ professionals networked across 46 offices; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Crayola, providing educators with resources and professional development to increase creative capacity school-wide; LIVE lab, Visualization Department Texas A&M University; Triseum, educational learning games; The Warehouse, a private contemporary museum; The University of the Arts; and Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD).

SummerStudio: Design Thinking for Social Equity is Designed to:

  • Prepare art educators and decision-makers across disciplines to be innovative, socially conscious change agents in education using Design Thinking.
  • Explore the benefits of imaginative design thinking and the design process to promote engagement, motivation, resilience, grit, and confidence to design a better world.
  • Foster design and arts integration to meet the National Visual Arts Standards and standards in multiple content areas that promote school to college and career readiness.
  • Encourage application of art and design thinking in teaching and learning across the curriculum, including science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
  • Engage the inspirational leadership and vision of XQ Super School teams; innovative leaders in art, design, and architecture such as Gensler, IDEO, Triseum, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Crayola, P-21; and others.
  • Cultivate and nurture a scalable national Community of Learners and Leaders, who Teach to Lead in Design Thinking by sharing and replicating exemplary practices, resources, research, and professional learning to mentor other leaders.

Lead Instructors

  • Jacob Riley Simons, Director of Design Strategy, Gensler
  • André Thomas, Founder and CEO of Triseum, educational learning games; Director of the LIVE lab, Visualization Department Texas A&M University
  • Michelle Cheng, Professional Development Manager, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Kristen Walter, Teaching and Learning Specialist, Crayola
  • Martin Rayala, Co-Founder, XQ Super School, Design-Lab School, Wilmington, DE
  • Cindy Todd, Co-Developer of the XQ Super School, Grand Rapids Public Museum School, MI
  • Paul Sproll, Head, Teaching + Learning in Art + Design, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
  • Kevin Henry, IDSA, Associate Professor, Product Design, Columbia College Chicago and Author of Drawing for Product Designers
  • Rande Blank, Director, MAT Art + Design Education, The University of the Arts; Chair, NAEA Design Issues Group; Board Member, DESIGN-ED
  • Thomas Feulmer, Director of Educational Programming, The Warehouse, Private Contemporary Museum
  • Dennis Inhulsen, Chief Learning Officer, NAEA
  • Deborah Moore, AP Arts & Music Director, NMSI/AP Strategies, Inc.
  • Jan Norman, Founding Director of Design for Thinking Teaching Institute; Director, NAEA SummerStudio: Design Thinking


This event has reached capacity. Registration is now closed.

NAEA Members: $449 by 6/2/17; $499 after 6/2/17
Non-Members: $495 by 6/2/17; $549 after 6/2/17

Registration Cost Covers:

  • Free Shuttle transportation to and from the two institute Hotels (Holiday Inn & DoubleTree) to UTD and to all field trips
  • Lunches, snacks and beverages (breakfasts included at the two Summer Studio hotels)
  • All studio materials, design thinking resources, educator packets & tote bag, some museum shop discounts, Opening Reception, dinner and tour at The Warehouse, contemporary museum, and more surprises
  • Inspiration field trips, tours and transportation during Summer Studio Design Thinking for Social Equity
  • Special Events Hosted by Contributing Sponsors including:

Participants are encouraged to come in teams; teams should include two or more teachers & administrators in art, design, and other subject areas at all levels. Program is limited to 45 participants.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation prior to June 18 will result in a $50 cancellation fee. After June 18, 2017, no refunds will be issued.


SummerStudio: Design Thinking For Social Equity
Innovation in Learning Scholarship
This scholarship, available exclusively to NAEA members, covers the cost of the early registration fee of $449 for this program. Up to 11 scholarships may be awarded to applicants who demonstrate sufficient financial need in tandem with proposed outcomes benefitting the applicant’s professional development, students, and/or community. Submission deadline is May 8, 2017.


Summer Studio Design Thinking has secured affordable hotel lodging, including breakfast, for participants at special reduced rates at the Hilton Double Tree and Holiday Inn close to UTD and DART transit, with free shuttle service to and from the UTD campus, convenient food & amenities. 

  • Hilton Double Tree: (972) 644-4000; Book online. Rates and block of rooms are available until July 2, 2017.
  • Holiday Inn: (972) 238-1900; Book online - mention code “National Art Education Associate-BK-YP”. Rates and block of rooms are available until July 3, 2017.


Contact Jan Norman, Founding Director, NAEA Summer Studio: Design Thinking (610) 608-9200

Earn University Credit

NAEA and California State University, Chico have partnered to offer professional development credit for professional learning earned through Summer Studio: Design Thinking. For further information, visit