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Project: Interaction Goes to School

Carmen Dukes (L) and Katie Koch (R) created Project: Interaction to teach interaction design principles to high school girls.

In a few weeks, two MFA Interaction Design graduate students are going back to high school! Katie Koch and Carmen Dukes, co-founders and teachers of Project: Interaction, will head out into the world to share their passion for interaction design. Katie and Carmen will work with a group of ninth and tenth grade girls at the Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women in a ten-week after school design education program they developed for high schoolers.

The two have been preparing for this moment for about a year, employing a user-centered approach to conduct on-site research and observation at area high schools, and interviewing teachers and designers to discover the needs of high school students.

From what they learned, they’ve developed a program that focuses on teaching creative thinking and problem solving methods—critical tools for designers—to help high schoolers address problems in their surrounding communities. The program challenges each student to rethink what she sees each day, closely observe the environment around her, and use teamwork to come up with big ideas. During the program, students will take a field trip to New York City based digital agency R/GA to experience interaction design in practice.

The program begins September 29. In the meantime, Katie and Carmen have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for this semester and to expand into more schools in the new year. Head over to Kickstarter to help support their project!

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