Design for Social Impact Exhibit at Parker

On Wednesday, June 25, six faculty and staff members headed to Mount Vernon Presbyterian School for the two-day FUSE14 conference. FUSE14 is a two-day immersion program in design thinking and design doing. During these two days, the Parker team engaged in a design challenge and several other activities that asked them to rethink events and activities that occur in school settings.

When reflecting on the experience, Upper School Art Teacher Travis Chandler shared, “The FUSE conference gave me an excellent overview of the major design thinking concepts, which has already had a huge impact on my mindset as an educator. More importantly, the conference let us put those skills into action, and the results were a testament to how effective these concepts are when put into motion.”

During the trip, the Parker team traveled to MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) where they viewed the Design for Social Impact exhibit. “Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, Design For Social Impact offers a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs from the Southeast are designing solutions to the problems of the 21st century,” according to exhibit curator Katie Simms. The exhibition features projects that address a variety of challenges in the areas of Shelter, Community, Education, Healthcare, Energy and Food & Water.

When assembling the exhibit, Simms felt it was important to share local challenges and problems that the use of design processes has helped to solve. “Each category highlights solutions taking place locally, as well as ways in which these challenges are being addressed around the world. The focus of the exhibition is on the design process and how design thinking can help create solutions to problems for a variety of users, from developing countries to urban environments.”

As the Parker teachers immersed themselves in the exhibit, they were inspired by the stories and how everyday people used empathy, innovation and creativity to make daily life better for those around them. As a result, they approached Simms that evening and asked her if she would be willing to share her powerful exhibit with the Parker community. After many phone calls and emails, Parker is proud to host many of the pieces from the Design for Social Impact Exhibit now through Friday, October 31.

Please take time to read, reflect and discuss these incredible stories. The teachers who attended the conference hope everyone in the Parker community will be struck with the awe and amazement they were, but, more important, be inspired to use empathy to create, innovate and change the world one step at a time.

Click here to see thoughts from our faculty on this exhibit. 

Click here to see photos of this exhibit.

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