Carol Aitken returns as IDEA School of Design Co-Coordinator after one year sabbatical
During my year off, I spent a bit of time working, and a lot of time not working! Shown above: Carol enjoying not teaching on a sunny day in North Vancouver this spring.
On the work side, I attended a course on Transition Design, a new field of design spearheaded by Carnegie Mellon University that focuses on design-led societal transition. A few months after that, I spent a wonderful week in San Diego at the Ashoka U Exchange Conference, the “world’s largest convening of social innovators in higher education”. The outcome was a concept paper for a new post-graduate program tentatively titled “Design for Social Innovation”. The University has given the go-ahead for this program, and I’ll be working on its development in the coming year. I’ll also be teaching a brand new first-year seminar called “Design Your Life” (open to all first year students at Capilano) thanks to curriculum inspiration from instructors at Tulane University in New Orleans.
On the non-work side I visited Taiwan, where my daughter is currently living (and ran into IDEA School of Design student Jennifer Tri Emely in the Taipei airport!), travelled twice to the UK for some extensive ancestry research, spent time living in the beautiful community of Findhorn in the north of Scotland, and caught up with many old friends. Sabbaticals are never long enough, and there is so much more travelling I’d like to do, but I’m also looking forward to getting back into the swing of the academic year. There's a whole class of IDEA students I haven’t even met yet! I’m returning to Capilano with the conviction that our Bachelor of Design program is one of the best out there – not just in Canada, but in the world, and I’m proud to be associated with it.