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2020 Global Experimental Live-Lab
Design Studio
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GloWD’s GEL-Lab Design Studio presents a unique opportunity for multi-disciplinary, multi-generational, and multi-national intellectuals and creatives to collaboratively and iteratively explore new design frontiers for all aspects of applied design into the future through virtual means and methods. 


The GloWD 2020 GEL-Lab Design Studio was structured within  eight (8) teams in two (2) tracks. Each team was comprised of multi-cultural, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary members. Design studio participants spanning five (5) continents from eight (8) different institutions and design programs worked with a diversity of home institution faculty. Overcoming time zone challenges, the 2020 GEL-Lab Design Studio groups benefited from international and expert input from around the world.


During the virtual course, teams were challenged to identify and address any current or future important societal issue, through and by design. Given the unique opportunity to provide equal input into shaping the design brief, faculty and students were empowered with not only the freedom to tackle a subject of their collective choice through their chosen method(s), but also the ability to directly shape their learning experience.


Using digital means and led by their dedicated instructors, each of the eight (8) groups collaborated to discuss, research and determine their special area of design inquiry. They then developed this into a final project while being challenged to maximize the broad range of skills and expertise present within the each team to produce a thoughtful and comprehensive complex solution.


In line with GloWD's intent to bridge education and practice, two key types of learning were also emphasized in conjunction with the design portion of the project:

  1. Teamwork – focused on putting the "3C's" of cooperation, communication and connection into practice for timely completion of concept through to solutions (documented through a shared group design portfolio)

  2. Personal / Individual – focused on self-awareness through individual reflection and assessment to develop mindsets and skills for stronger current and future team contribution and collaboration, through self-knowledge and personally-imposed discipline (documented through a self-reflection journal)

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I really enjoyed working with such a diverse group of design students across the world. This experience has taught me so much in such a short time span. The self-awareness and self-reflection process made me connect with myself as a person and designer in a way that I have never done before. Therefore, it enabled me to see the bigger picture while being able to go into detail, to reflect and evaluate everything.



University of Johannesburg, South Africa

final group presentations



PARTICIPANT INSTITUTIONS (alphabetical order by institution and track)

California College of the Arts – CCA (USA, The Americas)

University of Guelph – UofG (Canada, The Americas)

University of Johannesburg – UJ (South Africa, Africa)

University of North Carolina Greensboro – UNCG (USA, The Americas)




Berlin University of the Arts – UdK (Germany, Europe)

Holon Institute of Technology – HIT (Israel, Middle East)

National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM (Mexico, The Americas)

RMIT University – RMIT (Australia, Oceania)