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Thinking, Making, Breaking (A)Way: The Relationships of Innovation in Pursuit of Great Problems

January 22 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CST

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Fueled by the belief in the power of innovative design, a generation of interdisciplinary socially-engaged makers seek to disrupt the seemingly intractable problems of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These “Great Problems” (including food, water, energy, education, etc.) are both so omnipresent and inherently complex that they defy simple solutions.

Designing a more sustainable future relies on more than good intentions and enthusiasm for the work — it demands a level of expertise situated within long-term relationships of creative interdisciplinary collaborators. These lessons must start somewhere. How can the obstacles of traditional academic settings, activities, and schedules be reconsidered to promote innovative interdisciplinary design practices?

In this session, Rob Whitehead, associate professor of architecture and CELT Faculty Fellow for High Impact Practices, will discuss the benefits of nurturing an inquiry-based educational format in which critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration are central components. The philosophical and tactical basis for this process: Thinking, Making, and Breaking allows us to reassess how we learn, what we produce, and ways to assess our collective efforts. The presentation will include inspiring examples, formative failures and examples of important relationships that are necessary to forge transformative work.

This session is part of the Student Innovation Center’s Faculty, Staff and Grad Student Innovation Mindset series. Register online.


January 22
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CST