WHAT (AND HOW) TO TEACH DESIGNERS ABOUT HUMANITARIAN INNOVATION?
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Stevens, John Simon
Institution: Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Section: Changing Innovation Landscapes 2
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.35199/epde2019.101
The Global Innovation Design (GID) Masters Programme aims to develop research and teaching collaboration opportunities between international academic institutions, and among a range of international Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations. A theme of increasing interest is humanitarian innovation, in which many organisations are actively engaged. However, most academic documentation is in engineering and the humanities; there is little scholarly, empirical examination of design-led interdisciplinary methods and practice, spanning this fertile and important intersection, or of educational efforts to equip future designers with appropriate skills and knowledge. This paper outlines the developing educational context of experiential learning applied to innovation for disaster management and humanitarian response. Two examples of student design workshops on the subject of humanitarian or emergency response are described, to illustrate some of the benefits of immersive learning in this subject area (such as increased empathy and contextual understanding) weighed against the challenges (such as risk of physical or emotional harm) involved in first-hand encounter.