One of the many things we strive to do as an organization is to help bring design to the other 90%. A major way in which we currently achieve this goal is through our VIP course. The VIP course or vertically integrated projects, is community engagement first. Each year we pick find a community problem, get community partners and local design firms on board, and proceed to give students, who are normally brand new to design thinking, a crack at finding a solution.
It's extremely rewarding, stressful, and ultimately fulfilling. It's not something we often brag about, because often times these solutions take time (a year or two) to really see their full potential. And we've done some great work you can check out on our blog. Since its inception Design Bloc has always been and had a sense of a non formal approachable organization, focused on just trying to unify the campus. As we have evolved we've seen a need to do more work internally and externally with those directly around us and those around the world. And we're kicking off the main two phases of this initiative.
The first phase is all about shareable content. This summer we're building a curriculum that can be shared throughout the world with anyone who wants to learn how to do more community based design, focusing on designing with and not for. We are seeking to partner with other local, domestic, and international university to share this and create exchanges that allow us really support our initiative in democratizing design.
The second phase will take some time and will allow us to make this work even more effective. We are transforming our space to help facilitate the needs of the local community and building out prototypes in a new way, by rethinking how we use our space. We're seeking to build out an ethnography studio and also more programming that can bring the local community into the space and teach them all about design thinking. We ultimately want to be thought of as a community resource and center where those from anywhere can come and learn, teach, and experience designing for a local community.
We are excited for this next chapter of our journey and are always looking for ways we can collaborate and grow our reach. If you know anyone who would be interested in this or if you'd simply like to be a part of it contact us here.