If we ask the question, of how we want to teach creative topics in the future, we have to ask what role the students want to play in redefining the concept of education. It’s not an exception that students within the design faculties form self-initiated collectives.
But with OpenLAB, Alvin Arthur and Jim Brady have created something that goes beyond mere student networking. Alvin and Jim are students at the Design Academy Eindhoven, which is known for providing its students with a self-initiated and critical understanding of design.Together with other students, they wanted to become an active part of their education and not leave the basic conditions and topics to the institution alone.
»We wanted to define our own education, have more of a say in what was included, how it evolved, and even how it was assessed.« Says Alvin. It takes sovereignty and courage from students to not only see themselves as a consumer, but also as initiators of content and knowledge. The design faculties must nurture this sovereignty and encourage students to share their knowledge and recognize the value of their own experience.
This is – in our opinion – a crucial part of what design faculties need to provide in the future. It’s essential to prepare the students for the rapidly changing creative industry. We talked to Alvin and Jim about how to strengthen that sovereignty within creative collectives and what role transparency, democracy and self-confidence play in it.