Design Challenge

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Latitudes International Design Challenge 2015-16

Latitudes is the first global educational network to put design and innovation at the heart of how we tackle climate change. It connects architect

ure students across the globe to learn about climate change in different geographical regions and co-produce solutions through environmental design.

 It does this by setting up smart rooms in each partner university, consisting of HD videoconferencing technology that enables real time interactions between students and staff in different countries; creating a ‘global classroom’ where virtual learning activities take place.

 October 2015 saw the launch of the first Latitudes International Design Challenge, a call for collaborative solutions to climate change in five cities: London, Malé, Chennai, Bologna and Sao Paulo. Sixty teams, composed of 142 students from seven different countries responded to the call and worked together with 11 international tutors.

 Each team was assisted by nine local student ambassadors who helped them develop their proposals by sharing the environmental challenges they experience in their cities, such as coastal erosion in Malé, storm surges in Chennai and increasing heatwaves in London. During three months, students interacted through the ‘smart rooms’, holding virtual seminars and design reviews.

 The International Design Challenge is an innovative initiative with global vision. As a bold model of knowledge sharing across different cultural, climate and pedagogical contexts, it moves beyond the reductive thinking of learning about climate change in a classroom to actually engaging with real contexts and real people through the experience of students and staff in cities around the world.

This initiative is a joint project between the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment and Information Systems. It falls within the University’s Global Engagement and Learning Futures strategies for 2020 that is taking a step ahead by expanding the teaching experience to smart environments that connect students to global ideas and challenges.

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