Children’s Designathon

How we used design tools to help educators support exploration and foster creativity.
As part of the ‘Discover Design’ initiative from the Unexpected Foundation, in November 2014, during Code Week Europe, IXDS designers hosted Berlin’s first children’s Designathon at our Kreuzberg studio.

The event took place simultaneously in five cities around the world, where groups of students developed their own solutions to complex problems using design thinking methodology. They all even got to meet through a big international group Skype call!

Our group of around 26 students focused on challenges in areas of mobility, energy, waste and food, and created prototypes for their solutions using materials such as plastic bottles, wires, motors and cartridges.

This event is all about the creativity of children and the solutions they develop to make using technology a better future, and it truly exceeded our expectations.

What we discovered is that it was the perfect format to engage children in complex questions and deal with them in a productive way. In this fail free zone children could really get creative. They worked successfully in groups and proudly presented their prototypes. It was great to see such high levels of engagement and dedication.

We believe that the Design-a-Thon method could be used to improve pedagogical methods for learning through design, and help educators support exploration and foster creativity.