About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1154-1161
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

WHY ART AND DESIGN SCHOOLS ARE RISK AVERSE, ARE NOT RELEVANT AND DESTINED TO FAIL. DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS AND FORCE THE ACADEMIE INTO COMMUNITY, AND THEN ASK FOR FORGIVENESS

B. Canniffe

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) (UNITED STATES)
Traditional art and design curriculum revolves around instructing individual students and evaluating students’ individual projects without considering that the student’s future professional life and success will require that he or she function in a complex design environment with multi-faceted levels of relationships. Educators’ focus on, and the institution rewards, nurturing the ‘me’ designer while the professional world requires that a designer operates as ‘we’ and ‘us’ and understands the needs of clients.

The world has become much smaller and more interconnected and at the same time more fragile, volatile and disenfranchised. As art and design institutions concentrate on preserving the institutional bubble, those barriers prevent students from understanding the importance of the their role and comprehending the valuable contribution they can make as a designer in the global economy and society.

For the past nine years, I have developed classes which operate on a different paradigm—a paradigm where students are forced to get out of their academic comfort zones, come to grips with complex, “real world” global issues, resulting in a greater understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of art and design. These classes have also allowed the institution to see the value and benefit of having students become global ambassadors.

These classes rely on partnerships that have been made with researchers from the Johns Hopkins University’s Urban Health Institute and the Bloomberg School for Public Health, educational institutions and organizations in the Middle East, and community organizations and communities. The objective of these classes has been to understand and translate important, yet complex research projects and deliver creative solutions to disenfranchised, poverty-stricken and neglected inner city communities, to prepare students to function in multi-disciplinary, and multi-cultural teams, and to understand how the designer exists and functions within these different groups. These creative solutions have translated research projects about inner city gun violence, gang involvement, type two-diabetes, hypertension, chronic depression, and addressing projects that focused on religious and cultural understanding. The results of the final projects are mutually beneficial to all constituents.

The paper will address specific topics in the form of case studies as well as highlight the strengths and weakness of working with groups that have different needs and objectives. The paper will showcase three of the most recent projects; one project is an outreach to prevent inner city youths becoming involved in gangs, drugs and gang violence, another that educates viewers about life in a Somali Muslim community, and the third project focuses on encouraging inner city women to breast feed their children. Each case study will have examples of the final products as well as giving an overview of the pedagogical structure of this class.

These classes have a proven track record of connecting the community bed to the institutional bench. These classes have built capacity to connect to other academic institutions and organizations to create similar projects and partnerships.
@InProceedings{CANNIFFE2010WHY,
author = {Canniffe, B.},
title = {WHY ART AND DESIGN SCHOOLS ARE RISK AVERSE, ARE NOT RELEVANT AND DESTINED TO FAIL. DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS AND FORCE THE ACADEMIE INTO COMMUNITY, AND THEN ASK FOR FORGIVENESS},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1154-1161}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Canniffe
TI - WHY ART AND DESIGN SCHOOLS ARE RISK AVERSE, ARE NOT RELEVANT AND DESTINED TO FAIL. DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS AND FORCE THE ACADEMIE INTO COMMUNITY, AND THEN ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 1154
EP - 1161
ER -
B. Canniffe (2010) WHY ART AND DESIGN SCHOOLS ARE RISK AVERSE, ARE NOT RELEVANT AND DESTINED TO FAIL. DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS AND FORCE THE ACADEMIE INTO COMMUNITY, AND THEN ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 1154-1161.
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