Emily Roush-Elliott / Delta Design Build Workshop / Social Impact Architect / Bachelor of Science in Design, 2007 / 04.18.18

Where is design going?

Design is thoughtfully responding to existing conditions and requires that we ask things that it would be easier to avoid, including “Am I the right person to try to respond to this challenge?”.

How can design education be more relevant?

By preparing students to be partners rather than clients or consultants. And by disallowing the idea that design is ever autonomous or singularly aesthetic.

What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?

Future designers need to get out of their comfort zone. The sooner students partner with people who don’t look like them, visit places they’ve never seen, and stop thinking of anything they didn’t grow up with as “weird”, the better equipped they will be to be equity building professionals.

What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?

Pose real questions. When only the “design” component of a setting is considered, responding to only that element of the equation becomes the student’s normal process. By posing real world questions, the multitude of forces exerted on a project, and the concept and need for transdisciplinary efforts, becomes clear.

What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?

Carefully evaluate the vocabulary, appearance, historical figures, lauded projects, lecturers, and any other person, place or thing that it celebrates. Who is being represented and who is being encouraged by these people, places and words?

Emily Roush-Elliott

Delta Design Build Workshop

Social Impact Architect

Bachelor of Science in Design, 2007

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