Designer Boot Camp: An Immersion in Design Practice as High School Enrichment

By Linda Carson, Ed Jernigan, Paul McKone, Peter Roe and Chad Schmitke.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

For over twenty years we have run a summer enrichment program for high school students of exceptional potential at the University of Waterloo. With a focus on technology and entrepreneurship, and a purpose to present these students with challenges beyond their school experience as a means to better realizing their high potential, we have built the program around an intensive three week design project. The design process gives them a framework for addressing the open ended problems of the outside world rather than the closed exercises of the classroom. We discuss our experience with the teaching of design in this unique setting. In recent years we have hit on a particularly effective opening for the three week experience: a three day “designer boot camp”. We open by introducing the charette model as a means to focus on issues and stakeholders to develop a thorough definition of the problem at hand—using a sample problem drawn from their first day experience with a university residence cafeteria. We move on with a session on user-centred design. On Day Two we concentrate on skills for effective design teams including group work, creativity, idea generation, decision making, and prototyping. Day Three is devoted to a reprise of the charette experience, this time addressing the actual project theme for the year—the last two years we’ve used “The Great Canadian Energy Challenge” and “Zero-Waste Design”. We discuss earlier strategies and exercises that became the foundation of designer boot camp and compare our impressions of our students’ experiences.

Keywords: Design Education, Charette, User-Centred Design, Design Team Skills, Prototyping, High School Enrichment

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.29-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 586.583KB).

Linda Carson

Lecturer, Centre for Knowledge Integration, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Prof. Ed Jernigan

Professor, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ed Jernigan received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, 1971, and 1975, respectively. He joined the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1976, where he is currently Professor and past Chair. He is a Distinguished Teacher of the University of Waterloo. His research interests include non-linear and adaptive systems for signal and image processing, vision and machine perception, and pattern recognition, particularly with applications in medical imaging and remote sensing. Since 1984 he has served as the Program Director for the Shad Valley summer enrichment program, living in residence with 48 high school students during the month of July. In 2004 he launched a new university wide enrichment program for high school students of exceptional potential, Waterloo Unlimited (see www.unlimited.uwaterloo.ca).

Paul McKone

Lecturer, Shad Valley Waterloo, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Prof. Peter Roe

Professor Emeritus, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Chad Schmitke

Lecturer, Shad Valley Waterloo, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


Reviews:

There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review