Design Interest Group (DIG)

Starting in 2019-2020, the IAEA established a Design Interest Group (DIG). This committee works to develop programming, including events and professional development opportunities, with a focus on supporting art and design educators to facilitate design education. As such, this committee will help to advance the IAEA’s mission in serving educators and their students as the premier professional development provider for art, design, and media educators in Illinois.

The IAEA Design Interest Group will be chaired by an IL educator invested in design education. Appointed Co-Chairs: Matt Winkelman and Kristen LaJeunesse-Roach, who are currently active members of the NAEA Design Interest Group with invaluable knowledge and experience of bringing design thinking to Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95.

On Saturday, February 8th the Design Interest Group held its first official Professional Development Event at Columbia College Chicago. The event was attended by a wide range of participants from nearly all teaching sectors. We had attendees from Elementary Level Suburban schools, CPS HIgh Schools and the Laboratory School from the University of Illinois in Champaign. This diverse group also had varying levels of experience with Design Thinking but were eager to learn more, share ideas and engage in a fast-paced, hands-on workshop to solve a “real world” design challenge.

The event began with a dynamic presentation by Columbia College Associate Professor of Design – Kevin Henry who provided a history of design thinking, ways to utilize its process to solve a myriad of design challenges and generally framed the day.

Then we heard from Matt Winkelman and Kristen LaJeunesse-Roach (Art+Design Educators from Lake Zurich High School) about the transformative journey they have been on over the past several years, infusing design thinking, rebranding their department, leading district STEAM committees, professional development strands as well as co-creating and piloting a new design thinking course in the Fall of the 2020-21 school year.

The afternoon featured a fast-paced, hands on workshop facilitated by Kevin Henry where participants engaged in each phase of the design thinking process, acquired a deeper understanding of how you can use its methods to solve “real world” design problems and then worked in small groups to develop prototypes for a cell phone app that would address bullying in schools and presented their design solutions to the larger group.

The event concluded with positive feedback, a shared experience to use as a catalyst moving forward and a growing community of educators interested in design with a desire to learn, share and support the work of others who share this interest.

Want to learn more about the IAEA’s new Design Interest Group? Follow the link below and we’ll add you to our group and keep you informed about upcoming events, opportunities to get involved and much more.

https://forms.gle/rwQjKeiBPSVFUotk8

We will be posting more events soon! As always, be sure to check the events page for updates.

Want to get involved with a hands-on event? Interested in working behind the scenes? 

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Want to join our team? Have some questions or suggestions? Let us know!

Matt Winkleman
Kristen LaJeunesse  & Matt Winkelman, Design Interest Group Coordinators
DIG@ilaea.org