The Power of Design – Inspiring Students to Shape their own Future

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The Power of Design 1Pictured at the Power of Design celebratory event are Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect; Josepha Madigan TD., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Gerald Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD)

Students nationwide will have the opportunity to learn about the value of design in everyday life as the Power of Design programme is to be scaled up in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD).

The Power of Design uses a learning by doing methodology to demonstrate to primary and second level students the positive impact of design on social, cultural and economic life. The programme was initiated in 2015 as part of Dublin City Council’s Pivot Dublin submission and more than 3,000 students have participated in Dublin City Council catchment areas.

The Power of Design 2The Power of Design volunteers from 2018/19The extension of the partnership to include the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, (CEUD) will help to facilitate a trial of the programme to run nationally from March 2019.  A  further 16 schools in North and West Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Cavan, Donegal and Cork will participate in 2019.

Power of Design is delivered by design volunteers from the working world who are recruited, trained and supported by JAI. The volunteers have relevant experience in a diverse range of areas, including construction, computing, technology, marketing, management consulting, architecture, innovation and finance.

In their work with the volunteer, students consider how the world around us is designed and learn about careers in design, all the while being actively involved in a specially-conceived design challenge. 1,200 students participated in the programme in 2018. Now with the support of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design the programme will double in size and will also feature new Universal Design content.

Speaking at a Power of Design Celebratory event in the Wood Quay Venue, Josepha Madigan T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht offered her support saying: “The Junior Achievement model, which uses the skills and passion of trained business volunteers to inspire students to look at the world around them in a different way, is an ideal format for underlining the importance of design in all aspects of our lives. I am delighted to support this initiative which broadens students’ horizons and highlights the possibilities that lay ahead of, and around, them. Thank you to JAI, DCC and CEUD for expanding the programme to students throughout the country.”

IMG 5544The Power of Design students from O’Connell’s CBS Primary School, Dublin 1 were on hand to exhibit their design skills to attendees Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan, who had initially invited JAI to pilot an educational programme in which students would be immersed in the world of design, said: “Young people, as they are reminding us these days, are the future and the success of their future depends on how we design today. The inspirational Power of Design schools programme emerged from a PIVOT Dublin film called SHAPE, which shows how design transforms our lives in beautiful, effective and long lasting ways. It has been a pleasure supporting Junior Achievement Ireland in developing Power of Design and now see the programme reach even more young people with new partners, the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design.”

Gerald Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design said: “Creating an equitable society can start with changing behaviours and attitudes at primary school level. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design is delighted to partner with Dublin City Council and Junior Achievement Ireland to integrate material about a Universal Design approach to compliment the Power of Design workshops in primary schools. Addressing the diverse needs and characteristics of all people by applying a Universal Design approach inspires the creation of more holistic environments covering buildings, spaces, products and services including technologies. In short universal design is good design.”

IMG 5531Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan addresses attendeesJAI CEO Helen Raftery added: “Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan inspired us to develop a workshop to promote an awareness of the importance of design. We are delighted that the CEUD are joining forces with us and Dublin City Council.  This is an exciting opportunity to bring an awareness of the power of design to life in a real and meaningful way to even more students. Teachers are acutely aware of the value of role models to reinforce learning outcomes and are hugely positive about the involvement of volunteers pursuing careers in roles where design is fundamental. We are grateful to both our partner schools and the hundreds of design volunteers that are helping us to communicate these important messages to young people all over the country.”

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