Whether it is about climate change, income inequality or refugee flows, the news confronts us daily with the growing and increasingly complex challenges humankind is facing. We are realizing that the coping strategies that were typical of the twentieth-century industrial age are an inadequate response to these challenges. It is widely recognised that interdisciplinary teams with suitable design skills and methodologies offer an effective alternative approach, especially when combined with the upscaling capacities of digital technology. You only have to look at the huge influence of social media platforms like Facebook, or at how e-commerce and 'sharing economy' platforms can disrupt entire markets, to see how powerful the combination of design and digital technologies can be.
The time has come to apply this potentially powerful combination to the grand environmental, social and political challenges we face today. With its pragmatic attitude, rich design tradition, and high level of digital connectivity, the Netherlands can play a key role in this endeavour. To that end, nine leading Dutch digital agencies (ACHTUNG!, DDB Tribal, FHV BBDO, Fabrique, MediaMonks, Mirabeau, Momkai, TamTam, and Woedend!) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) have joined forces to meet the market's need for the education of a new breed of Dutch digital designers: talented professionals who excel at the international level and are inspired by an integrated perspective on 'people, planet and profit'.
We will encourage our students to become leaders in digital design. The expertise needed to create this new leadership can only exist in a networked form, and we need experts in design, education and entrepreneurship - teachers and business executives - to help us create this network. This initiative will not be confined to our own institute; it needs input from working professionals. We will establish a knowledge hub in digital design.
We are creating a dynamic network, consisting of organisations, agencies, and professionals who are passionate about the strategic importance of design. The AUAS intends to become a hub in this knowledge-sharing network.
The Master of Science in Digital Design is at the heart of this network, educating 24 candidates from all over the globe to become leading makers. Our design studio will be a concrete example of our co-creation philosophy, enabling students, coaches and lecturers to co-create and address real-life challenges. Over the course of the Master's programme a series of three projects, derived from urgent societal issues, will be proposed to the students as part of their training.
Does digital design have a special place in your own organisation? Then join our network, and be our guest at meet-ups and events throughout the year! If you would like to be more closely involved we welcome candidacies for lecturers, clients, experts, coaches and key partners to our programme. Our academic director and a committee of lecturers will give their full attention to all proposals and will independently select the most outstanding ones.
We also invite proposals for project briefs. We are looking for challenging and future-oriented problem areas for our students to explore, to stimulate their creativity and to produce new design knowledge. Each project brief will first be proposed to our project bureau, and then serve as a basis for co-creation between our lecturers and the proponents, who will also have the opportunity to follow the students' work and their final results.
There are various opportunities to join in:
Step into the network
The network is open to all and offers meet-ups, exhibitions and a main yearly event. The larger events may charge a small entrance fee, but they are essentially open. Follow network events and developments on social media, in the blog, and in the newsletter.
Participate in a specific role
Would you like to contribute to our network and share your expertise? Do you want to get involved as a client, lecturer, coach or expert? Then we invite you to become part of the teaching and learning network. Candidates from outside the AUAS are also welcome to join. Check the various roles or contact Paul Geurts.
Do you believe in what we are doing? Want to sit in the front row? Would you like to see your brand in this Master's spaces and channels? Then consider becoming a key partner too. For more information contact Ruurd Priester.
Our current key partners are the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), VodafoneZiggo, the Dutch traveller's association ANWB, Informaat and DigitalLBi.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions on how to participate, please let us know.