a Design Ignites Change and Designers Accord self-guided mentoring program

School: by Design is a Design Ignites Change and Designers Accord youth mentoring initiative that asks high school students – in collaboration with their college or professional design mentors – to “redesign your school."

The program has been created to give youth in underserved communities a real world experience using design thinking to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potential and take action in their own lives.

For this initiative, mentoring teams will examine the school ecosystem from the student’s vantage point to reimagine a more sustainable school, one that will improve now and continue to grow and thrive in the future. The project will connect students to a subject they know well, and one in which they are likely to have strong opinions.

In this program, “sustainability” will extend beyond customary notions of green design and eco-friendliness, to the more meaningful aspects of cultural, social and economic sustainability. In this situation, designing for possibilities are as important as redesigning for artifacts.

The initiative can be adopted by a range of creative disciplines including but not limited to; architecture, industrial design, graphic design, interior design, environmental graphics and interactive design. The initiative can encompass illustration and photography.

The topic is quite broad and guidance will be given to help teams consider larger issues like the overall design of a building, while also attending to small scale projects that can be implemented by the students themselves with a modest budget.

The goal of the initiative is to engage students in thinking about the pressing problems in their school in a mindful and creative way, to come up with solutions that account for a diversity of ideas, perspectives and approaches to learning. Teams will be encouraged to create integrated solutions that consider the student in the classroom, the classroom in the school and the school in the community.

At the end of the six week program, teams will exhibit their work in their school or in a local public venue to showcase their vision to peers, school administrators, the general public and business and civic leaders.

All projects will be featured on the Design Ignites Change and Designers Accord websites, and particularly noteworthy projects will be promoted to the press.


The six to eight week program is designed to be easily executed at any time by the following groups who will serve as mentors:
» Professional design organizations
» Professional design studios
» College and university design programs

Student groups participating in the program include:
» High schools
» After-school programs
» Community organizations for underserved youth

Each participating mentor organization or school will identify mentors within their constituency and pair them up with local high schools students under the supervision and guidance of Worldstudio. Conversely, if a local high school or youth group wishes to participate Worldstudio will work with them to identify possible mentors in their area.

The Mentoring Guides

A step-by-step set of guidelines and curriculum (to the left under downloads) are available to make the mentoring experience easy to execute and Worldstudio is on hand to consult on all aspects of the program. The material will give the inexperienced mentor the tools they need to successfully complete the project while providing a rewarding experience for the student and themselves.

Join Us!

Fax or email the Registration Form to Worldstudio.

To learn more about how your school or organization can participate in School: by Design, contact Mark Randall.

Check out our other great mentoring initiative: Create! Don’t Hate.