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day 2


Over the last decades, Design has changed from a narrow set of craft-based professions focusing on aesthetics and manufacturability toward a distinct set of capabilities, including problem-solving, empathy, and prototyping, which are both parts of a broad set of design professions, and also core elements for the general curriculum.

Many places are considering the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) vision of 21st Century Skills: a set of skills that should be in the repertoire of each citizen. A good portion of these aredesign skills: problem finding and problem-solving, with the divergent and convergent phases of creativity, working in teams, empathy (understanding the experience of others) and communication. Most of these have not received emphasis in the traditional curricula before, which often work in well-delimited framings, and where an assignment is known to have a single ‘correct’ solution. Unlike the problems in arithmetic textbooks, the design textbook has no teacher’s appendix with ‘the correct answers’. Instead, there is an emphasis on critical reflection and formative evaluation with feedback on several levels: the solution, process, and communication.

This requires for a new emphasis for teachers, and a recalibration of what we expect from pupils. For instance, on creativity: children are thought of as because they have not yet unlearned the ability to draw expressive pictures. But does that mean they can solve problems creatively? The presentation will look at these skills, experiments of teaching design in the Dutch general curriculum, and how design skills connect to the everyday thinking skills of our future citizens.


Social Innovation in Cedar Girls Secondary School plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of each child through their journey in innovating for social good. Anchored on the Design Thinking methodology, a school-wide programme has been designed and developed since 2011 to nurture in the young minds a sensitivity towards social needs and support to empower them to create user-centric solutions with a greater impact to our communities.

A journey that took flight since 2011 culminated in deeper partnerships with the National Environment Agency, Singapore Design Council, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Management University-Lien Centre for Social Innovation and many other voluntary welfare organisations that provided platforms not only for authentic learning opportunities to real-life context but innovations by our students that enhanced the capacity of society to act.

In 2017, the Centre for Social Innovation in Cedar Girls’ Secondary School has also been launched by Minister Ng Chee Meng with a commitment to continue to inspire, create and share practices that will instill a mindset and disposition for social causes through 3 key areas- Incubating Spaces, Nexus and Capacity Building. Another exciting chapter for Cedar's Social Innovation journey has just begun, as we forge ahead together to bring about innovations for the future of our nation.

What does a rich ecosystem that runs on creativity and innovation look like? In this presentation, Commonwealth Secondary School will share its ongoing journey to build such an ecosystem with Design Thinking as the main building block. The presentation will include sharing of our key approaches and insights based on the 4 key foci of the journey - Curriculum, People, Culture and Space.
In this presentation, Suat Hoon will share her role and experiences in the implementation of a design thinking initiative at institutional level while she was the director at the Department of Educational Development (EDU). This will be shared through the journey that the institution took starting with how it embarks on design thinking. This includes the development of a strategy, forming new design thinking partnerships and the creation of key activity systems. An important focus of this presentation is on the competency development and learning opportunities of teaching staff. This leads to the development of new design thinking modules in the institution. The presentation will end with some lessons learnt from this experience.
This presentation focuses on the unique multidisciplinary design philosophy and pedagogy at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and provides a variety of examples of how design is taught as part of the curriculum. Conventional approaches are inside-out: focusing on a single discipline of study and learning all else “on-the-job”. SUTD’s Outside-In approach focuses on what is needed to do a great job: grounding in technology and design, multi-disciplinarily, creativity, and a combination of practice (art) and theory (science). This is reflected in the curriculum and the organisational structure that are based on multi-disciplinary pillars and novel degrees, rather than disciplinary departments and disciplinary degrees. It is also reinforced by a common first year and final year Capstone Design projects mandatory for all students. To push the envelope, inspire young minds and motivate impactful achievements in innovation, society and the economy SUTD applies her Big-D philosophy. The related 4-D pedagogy permeates all levels of the curriculum with Big-D values by employing design challenges at 1D, single course; 2D, multiple courses from the current term; 3D, current and past term content and across time; and 4D, current coursework, past coursework and independent extra-curricular knowledge domains. The presentation describes SUTD’s vibrant design culture and closes with a discussion of successes and challenges.
Topic: Inspire educators on evolving global design, innovation trends and the value of design.
Participants will address the challenges identified on Day 1, develop ideas and formulate directions and actions.