The last decade has witnessed the rapid development of the internet and digital technologies, which completely changed how we live, think, and communicate. While innovations have already improved our lives, catastrophes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed more to be changed or developed. Thus, the need for future designers is rising, which inspired me to become a design educator who prepares aspiring design leaders with the mind and skills to solve real-world problems.
As a design educator, I understand that it is necessary to encourage students to master their skills, but cultivating design thinking habits is more important to me. From my experience, my professors only focused on the visuals and barely talked about the process. The lack of end-to-end work made me less competitive in the job market. In order to prepare my students for their future, I incorporate systematic design thinking into fundamental design projects. For example, in DES 123 Design Challenge, I let students choose their favorite products in the first class as references for the main projects for the semester. The deliverables of the projects eventually form a visual campaign for their favorite products. The students explore not only visual principles in various forms but also the process from initial research to the final campaign.
Besides projects, the classroom atmosphere is another significant aspect of my teaching. On the first day, I let students create their personalized name tags, which helps us remember each other's names and get a sense of each other's styles and skills. In-between main projects, there are group challenges during workshop sessions to build a collaborative and inclusive learning environment. Each group is assigned a technique to study and then presents the process of using the technique in projects. A great designer is an active learner, and I want to encourage life-long learning in my students. These group challenges help them learn from each other while practicing using design software.
I would welcome the opportunity to teach any entry-level courses related to art, design, or media. With a background in interior architecture, graphic design, UI/UX design, and photography, I believe my interdisciplinary practice can provide students with new perspectives on the art and design world. I strive to create an engaging learning community where students explore their interests through active, hands-on projects, apply their systematic design thinking to solve real-world problems, and master their skills by teaching and learning from each other.
Teaching is learning. I treat my students as friends, teachers, clients, and artwork. I care about their life, and so I learned to listen. I'm inspired by their innovative ideas, so I learned to communicate. I respect their individuality, and so I learned to be flexible. I'm eager to see their success, so I learned to pay devotion and dedication. While I motivate them to do meaningful things, I'm learning the most meaningful lesson in my life.