We begin our Transdiciplinary design journey with our partners and “client group” at the Sampson Webber Academy on WED 18th of September 2013. Lead by the extremely qualified and enthusiastic Principal Anthony Houston, a team of teachers have self-identified to work with us (see below). We feel encouraged and welcomed by this unique school community! Our logo comes from them: swLAB (Sampson Webber Leadership Academy and Biddle – the now closed and absorbed elementary school on the site).
Quality design solutions often begin and end by engaging partners – either in the community or in allied disciplines. In a transdisciplinary approach, interaction with these partners (those contributing to, but not directly conducting design work) is handled in a noticeably different manner. While other traditional design processes interact with the public, it is typically only for the purpose of soliciting data or feedback to proposals. The designer then takes this information and solitarily proceeds with making the design decisions on a project. The public is effectively removed from direct decision making regarding the nature of a project. In a transdisciplinary design process, all parties (designers, allied disciplines, partners, residents, stakeholders, et.al.) are integral and purposely positioned to directly contribute to the design decision making process. This is achieved because in a transdisciplinary design process, there are no formal barriers to collaborative input.
For our project we sought out the aid of teachers at Sampson-Weber Leadership Academy to participate in the design process. Below is pictured the three teachers who have agreed to volunteer their time, expertise and invaluable enthusiasm for the duration of the project.
Pictured from left to right:
Mr. Linardo Hines: Teaches 1st and 2nd Grade general education, has been teaching for 10 years, and even holds a degree in architecture.
Mrs. Mary Jackson: Teaches 6th, 7th, 8th Grade Science and Math, and has been teaching since 1999.
Mrs. LaShon Clay: Teaches 3rd grade science + math, and has been with Detroit Public Schools since 1998.