Team Directed, Project Based Education: A Case Study of an Entrepreneurial, Trans-Disciplinary, Design Studio Abroad



This is a report from the trenches. This article offers a critique of a pilot project undertaken by Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California. In the summer of 2005, I (along with 1 other Art Center instructor) accompanied 14 Art Center students to participate in a unique, trans-disciplinary, design and project based “start-up” studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 14 design students came from various fields (the trans-disciplinary part), who were challenged to produce a professional project (the design and project based part), with no pre-existing working structure (the start-up studio part). How did this project work? What was its outcome? How did its structure emerge? How did we deal with decision-making, establish common goals, insure progress, and satisfy our client, our school, our students, and ourselves as instructors? And what lessons were learned? This is our story, told in 3 parts, with 15 key points for those attempting similar projects.

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