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Media Advisory

University of Minnesota College of Design's "Design Lab" to teach design thinking skills to K-6 teachers and students

A “Learning Village” to be designed at Highlands Elementary School in Edina June 15-18

What: Design Lab will help K-6 teachers and students build design thinking skills.
When: Tuesday through Friday, June 15-18. Media interested in covering Design Lab, must RSVP with Laura Weber or Jeff Falk.
Where: Highlands Elementary School, 5505 Doncaster Way, Edina

Contacts: Laura Weber, College of Design,, (612) 625-6566
Jeff Falk, University News Service,, (612) 626-1720

June 16, 2010

The University of Minnesota College of Design’s Design Lab (DLab) workshop this week will help K-6 teachers and students build critical design thinking skills. DLab will take place Tuesday through Friday, June 15-18, at Highlands Elementary School, 5505 Doncaster Way, Edina.

Participants will receive hands-on instruction from assistant professor of architecture John Comazzi and undergraduate and graduate students and will use the design process to understand and engage with natural phenomenon. Over the course of four days, students ages 5-11 will design a series of gathering spaces that incorporate wind, water, light and sound using sustainable materials such as straw bales and willow reeds. Highlands Elementary teachers will participate in the project as well, learning ways to incorporate the design process into their curriculum.

“In preparing our students to successfully operate within an increasingly complex and interconnected world, it is imperative that we prepare them with the necessary skills to innovate and solve problems,” says Comazzi. “The interdisciplinary nature of design education gives students a range of competencies to activate and integrate their knowledge of core subjects like geography and algebra, or language arts and history, to solve a myriad of challenges presented to them.”

Design lessons will focus on sketching, diagramming, model building and prototyping structures. Participants will present their finished projects at 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 18.

A second DLab will take place July 6-9 at Jane Addams School for Democracy/Cherokee Heights Elementary in St. Paul.

Tags: College of Design

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