The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design — my alma mater — has just launched a new initiative with Surface Magazine called the Surface Summer School at Penn. A fairly unique partnership between a media company and an accredited university, the goal of the “summer school” is twofold.
One, it gives Penn students, who might otherwise struggle to find an internship in this climate, something productive and positive to do over the summer. And two, it applies design thinking to the problems of this pandemic.
Penn students will have the month of June to design a prefabricated COVID-19 testing structure — one that could be rolled out in dense and compact urban centers around the world. A jury will then review the submissions and a winner will be announced by mid-July.
The jury includes a host of noteworthy architects and designers: Winka Dubbeldam, Dror Benshetrit, Thom Mayne, Yves Béhar, Susan Sellers, Marion Weiss, Ferda Kolatan, Joe Doucet, and others. Starting on June 3rd at 6:30 PM eastern, members of the jury will also start delivering design lectures on Surface’s Instagram.
I am looking forward to seeing the submissions. Hopefully all of them will be made public.