Our school is technologically advanced, and one might say that it’s one of the best in Eastern Europe, and the top in Bucharest. With its many assets (top teachers, large campus, modern gym, and sports facilities), the school still has room for improvement. The new Design Center, which will be built immediately after the secondary school construction is finished, plans on achieving this.
The Goal of the Design Center
The Design Center will aim to facilitate more creative, project-based learning, according to AISB’s Head of School, Dr. Robert Brindley. With the help of the Design Center Committee, it will incorporate a large variety of subjects, from Film, Design, Textiles, and Robotics, to 3-D Product Design and even Cooking.
The new project will help students to think more creatively, and ultimately, to have an open mindset. These skills are in high demand in today’s society, as jobs are becoming more automated, and many industries such as Ocado (a British online supermarket) are “pursuing automated workers.” This takes place in “hospitals, law firms, (and) the stock market,” as reported by BBC-Future. Companies will no longer look for people with basic skills, but “people who understand 2D design, [and can] make it 3D; the people who can combine theories and make them practical,” according to Brindley.
Hence, the Design Center. The school is moving forward from the normal notion of subjects, and, “to even think of them as subjects is probably not being clear about the goal that we are looking towards,” says Design Center Board Committee Member, Luke Scholtes. Rather, the school will guide the students to pick their specific areas of interest, after which they will be instructed to “bring elements from different subjects (Film, Design, Cooking, etc.) together in order to be creative,” Scholtes adds.
Teachers will allow the students to plan their own work periods and dates for goals they need to achieve, offering as much freedom as possible. This provides a much more project-based way of learning, much like the MYP Personal Project and Genius Hour.
Why do we need it?
The initial Design Center idea was from Dr. Brindley. He was looking to further enhance the education at the school and decided to look to at other companies and schools for reference. Brindley says that the new Design Center will “replicate more of the real world industry than [the traditional] school.” He gives the example of “Entrepreneurial Hubs” to mimic the goal of the project.
These are places where entrepreneurs are able to teach classes about their experiences. Brainembassy.com was recommended by Brindley as an example of what the school might look like (see picture, below).
The Design Center Committee will soon travel the world to look at other international schools and universities, and most importantly, successful businesses in the hopes of finding a representation, developing it further, then adjusting it for our school.
This will create the tool to bring the community and flow of ideas together, since both the Secondary School and the Elementary School will participate in projects for the Design Center. Through this broadened flow of ideas, the Design Center will hopefully inspire creativity and dedication in the students’ school work and day-to-day life.
Size and Placement
The current Design Center will double in size, at the very least. When the project is finished, it will have a total of two levels, and will be extended around the temporary structure. Brindley says that this project requires plenty of space and time in order to create the “multifunctional” building, as well as to add the “required equipment” to achieve the purpose of the Design Center. The location of the center will not change, and you can see detailed blueprints in the presentation below.
It’s clear from the presentation that this is an impressive project that will change the landscape of the school. We’re looking forward to seeing it for ourselves in the next year or two.