Campus News

College of Education, KET to Host Premiere Screening of 'Extreme By Design' Documentary


UK College of Education's John Nash discusses the concept of "design thinking" and the PBS documentary "Extreme By Design" that will be screened in Lexington Oct. 24. Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2013) — The University of Kentucky College of Education and KET will host a premiere screening event of "Extreme By Design," a PBS documentary film about students from Stanford University building a better world through the concept of "design thinking." The approach used in the film is also being developed at UK’s Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education, or dLab.

The screening will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 in the Lexington Central Library's William Stamps Farish Fund Theater. It is free and open to the public. Afterward, a Q&A session with "Extreme By Design" director and producer Ralph King, along with educators and community leaders, will be held to discuss design thinking in Kentucky. The session will be moderated by KET's Bill Goodman.

Invite to the "Extreme By Design" screening

John Nash, associate professor in the College of Education's Department of Educational Leadership Studies, is founder and director of the UK dLab, and will also participate in the Q&A.

“This film provides an exciting look into the kind of things we’ve just started to do here in Kentucky,” said Nash.  “Design Thinking is changing the way Kentucky schools prepare students for the workforce of the future. It’s changing how schools look and how students learn, creating graduates who are better able to succeed in an innovation economy.”

Nash, who was a social research scientist at Stanford University for six years before coming to UK, has met many of the people involved with Stanford’s program. He became acquainted with King through his involvement in design thinking.

“Ralph has been doing really good work in Silicon Valley for a number of years, particularly documenting the work that has gone on at the Stanford (Institute of Design),” said Nash. “One day he emailed me and asked if we would be interested in screening ‘Extreme By Design’ in Lexington before it appeared on network television. That was an offer too good to pass up, because the topics in the film are a global picture of what we’re really getting underway here in Lexington. It’s an exciting way to show our community how the pipeline of work we’re doing here at the K-12 level can grow into something bigger to the global community.”

A part of the College of Education’s P20 Innovation Lab, the dLab uses design thinking methods to create new solutions to previously unsolvable challenges in education and the community.

“To hear the term ‘design’ may conjure in people’s minds the work of an architect or an interior designer," said Nash. "What we’re really talking about is a process, a mindset, that is a solution-finding process – not so much a problem-solving process. It’s thinking about how to design for another. A human-centered approach.”

The UK College of Education offers a course for both undergraduate and graduate students in design thinking, where they can help solve issues in the Lexington community.  “Extreme By Design” shows how powerful this form of education can be, and the event will give people of Central Kentucky an opportunity to hear from those involved in these types of programs.

“I hope this film will inspire the next generation of social problem solvers,” said King. “At a time when new ways of thinking about education are taking hold in American classrooms, design thinking can play a critical role in helping young people compete in the global economy and pursue careers in public service. The film is a showcase for what many people consider to be the crown jewel of 21st century education. I’d like to expose it to a much larger community invested in education’s future.”

The film will have its national premiere on KET at 10 p.m. EST, Dec. 11.

About “Extreme By Design”
Produced by Hawkview Pictures and Kikim Media, the film follows three Stanford University students on an adventure around the globe, as they design and build products that may save thousands of lives in Bangladesh, Indonesia and other developing countries. The student teams, from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, apply freewheeling design methods, tapping creativity they didn’t know they had before. They draw on methods from engineering and design, and combine them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world. Believing that they can and will make a difference, the students open their hearts and brains, and remarkably, almost magically, their products take shape and work.

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