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Design Lab Unit

Design Lab

In ICS Milan teaching is delivered through a succession of 5 different Design Lab Units, based around a theme, which is the complementary background for different learning opportunities. 

Each Design Lab Unit last about six weeks during which students have the opportunity to work with teachers and designers to live all-round experiences.

Teachers and designers plan a series of explorations, research and practical activities which are aimed to develop collaboration, problem solving and innovative thinking skills. Children are then encouraged to apply and make connections between their experiences during the design activities, to their learning throughout the rest of the unit.
Discovery, knowledge and project are the three keywords that guide the learning process. These three stages of our educational approach are developed with increasing complexity according to the age of the students.

The structure of the design workshop week

The unit opens with design activities aimed to discover the general themes that will be dealt with during the following weeks. The designers plan these activities together with the teachers, putting their skills at the service of the learning objectives. This unique experience emotionally and tangibly captivates students.

After the discovery phase, the knowledge phase begins, which is delivered with a cross-curricular approach based on one or more of the topics (interdisciplinary research units).

The first day is dedicated to the presentation and discussion about the brief. On the second day the students start to dig a little deeper through analysis, mind maps, discussions with classmates and planned activities. Over the weekend the students have time to relax and allow new ideas to settle. On their return to school, children continue to analyse the theme, guided by the designer and start to draw conclusions.

At this point planning can begin and the children can bring their ideas to life, using diagrams and drawings, then prototypes.