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2022 Global Experimental Live-Lab
Design Studio
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The GloWD GEL-Lab is a multiweek global digital design studio, comprising 400 students and 40 faculty from 40 countries, which experimentally explores new design education structures and processes. These are centered on the collaboration of multidisciplinary, multinational, multicultural, multi-institutional faculty-student teams working together for fresh transdisciplinary solutions for tackling large global challenges.


As a diverse and experimental, 5-week digital design studio, the GloWD 2022 GEL-Lab Design Studio operated at the highest level of creative, common-sense and design thinking. Working in teams, participants were challenged to use imagination and cooperation. Each team wass asked to provide comprehensive design proposals in response to their team’s interpretation of the GloWD 2022 overarching design brief, while navigating a range of design disciplines, spaces, and experience levels in their group. Each student was asked to engage in a structured reflection process and to self-assess their learning, development and contribution.

For this virtual course, the design brief, developed by 11 seasoned educators. It asked the teams to re-adapt genius loci for our new reality. One in which it is vital to grasp the essence of human intelligence within a digital world. Where, as designers, we strive to identify that which provides collective meaning and search for an intangible dimension and narrative which is essential to our understanding of ourselves, and our community, within place and time.

The 2022 GEL-Lab Design Studio was composed of 40 transdisciplinary teams of 11 people (10 multidisciplinary students + 1 faculty), which had the opportunity to connect, network and learn from each other at a global level. Itself a group of multidisciplinary and expert design leaders, the GloWD team ensured creative cooperation and opportunities for online meetings and facilitation of team communications both within each team, as well as across the entire 2022 GEL-Lab Design Studio network and community. Participation reflected the broadest range of design disciplines and designers (of all levels of experience) spanning all six continents.



glowd 2022 Gel-lab videos

GloWD 2022 GEL-Lab Design Studio project samples tackling adapting and revitalizing rural communities, fostering welcome, experiencing global culture locally, creating public art with a social conscience, building creative digital communities, teaching kids culture through food, supporting adolescent mental health and addressing refugees and displacement.

in their own words

"It is one of the few design teaching formats that full capitalizes on the recent developments in global communication that we've seen emerge, especially during the COVID health pandemic, and that allow for global collaboration."

"This is a great learning experience for designers of any level."


"It exposed me to a new type of design studio, which is a great learning environment for me as an MA student."

"GloWD gave me the experience of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough for setting up such an amazing academic platform for developing the design thinking capacity and skillset of the young Global Designer. GloWD – Globally We Design!"

"The theme is futuristic and global, thus challenging students to come up with their own unique perspectives and responses to it in terms of their ideation."

"The GEL-Lab gives one the ability to think critically and design solutions that are sustainable. It produces generational leaders and problem solvers."

"The diverse composition of the team structure (different nationalities, different areas of expertise in design, different universities, different levels (BA, MA, PhD...), as well as the brief topic and timeframe of the project make the GEL-Lab unique."

"It taught me good teamwork and clear communication are key to a successful result."

"Other projects are institutionally driven, many times in a top-down approach, even politically decided, while the GloWD GEL-Lab is a collaborative project somewhat like an open-source work, thus possessing all of the human qualities of an open-source project."

"I found it to be an innovative pedagogical experience."

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