Design to Improve Life Education is a large-scale education project running from 2010 to 2013 in the Öresund Region of Scandinavia. It is developed by INDEX: Design to Improve Life® and partners with a vision of creating a holistic and creative education format aiming to balance and integrate society’s need for competencies with the individual’s need for meaningful learning, while fostering innovation and entrepreneurial power.
Design to Improve Life Education is funded by EU and Interreg IV A and is being developed in partnership between Denmark and Sweden and involves two city governments, education ministries, high schools, universities as well as primary and secondary schools.
Through Design to Improve Life Education, 200 teachers and 4,000 students will receive education in Design to Improve Life.
Education experts suggest a correlation be- tween students’ lack of motivation and a school system that is designed for industrial society’s mindset and structure. Via Design to Improve Life Education,we are addressing this by using global challenges as learning resources in school and by activating schools as a resource in society.
In a globalized, knowledge-based world there´s a growing need for different skills than those of the industrial society: Creative skills and methods of design thinking are seen as part of the solution to this. The partners in Design to Improve Life Education however, go further and insist that understanding global challenges – and learning to develop environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solutions to these – is imperative to societies as well as a unique, meaningful learning resource.
On this basis, the Design to Improve Life Education program has been developed as a project that is equally engaging and educating for teachers as well as students – a project that embraces and activates the different and diverse competencies of all students.
The fundamental teaching tool in Design to Improve Life Education is the Design to Improve Life Compass that guides both teachers and students through the Design to Improve Life process. The Compass comprises four intense phases, twelve inspiring actions and a series of vivid and engaging techniques developed by designers, teachers, didactic experts and process facilitators together.
The Design to Improve Life Compass can be used in and across all subjects in primary, secondary and vocational education as well as at university level, and can vary in duration from 1 week to 6 months.
Nikolaj Bebe´s contribution to the project was partly to be part of the development team that developed the interface and layout for the Design to Improve Life Compass. And partly to advise about the physical environment´s didactic and significance for the possibility of optimal learning and development of creativity and design skills. Last, Nikolaj Bebe has authored the article The Importance of Architecture In Learning And Creativity Processes – Architectural didactic and six design principles that promotes and enhance the Design To Improve Life Education process. Soon you can read the article here in both English and Danish.