Everyone who can solve a tangible problem by creating something new is by definition a designer.

This summer in Seoul, 300 students from all over the world will gather to address the eight biggest problems in the world as defined by the United Nations. Hosted by INDEX:, the acclaimed Danish design organization, the Yonsei-INDEX: Design Summer School (YIDSS) is conceived as a new kind of learning institution that sets out to educate the participating students to become members of the next generation of global citizens and leaders in an experience-oriented, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, international and integrated learning environment.

This is how INDEX: explains it:

“As part of the Danish design organization INDEX:’s strong focus on what they call EDUCATION to Improve Life, a revolutionary new summer school will open its doors in July 2011 on campus of the oldest university in Korea. What distinguishes this program from other design summer schools is that most of the 300 students are not even design students to begin with–instead, they hail from business schools, law schools, medical schools, engineering schools and other fields.

The idea behind the alternative setup comes from INDEX:’s own design definition, defining design as ”the human capacity to make and shape our environments in ways that satisfy our needs and give meaning to our lives”, which roughly translates to something like: Everyone who can solve a tangible problem by creating something new is by definition a designer.

And there are a lot of problems in the world that needs solving – or at least addressing – and therefore a lot of the teaching at YIDSS is based on the eight United Nation Millennium Development Goals from 2000 and their 21 underlying targets. The students will learn user-focused, creative methodologies to understand large scale global challenges and they will acquire tools to be part of solving these intelligently and empathically. With this approach, INDEX And to give each student a unique and life lasting learning experience fostering engagement, creativity and courage to play a crucial role in the future.”

Browse throught the booklet:



YIDSS is open for graduates and undergraduates from universities all over the world and relevant to students from all faculties. It takes place from July 1st to July 29th 2011. YIDSS offers a Design to Improve Life Legacy Course and various elective courses all related to Design to Improve Life. The summer school is open for applications from March 15th to May 13th 2011.

For more information, visit the website. And thanks to Martijn Schildkamp of Smart Shelter Foundation (one of our visiting professors) for giving us the heads up! Looks like he will be participating in the event…good luck!

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