2012 Visioneers Design Challenge Event Photographs
What is the Visioneer Design Challenge?The Visioneer Design Challenge is a statewide learning program and competition for high school and middle school students interested in design arts connecting with professional designers in each field. Eleven Challenges have been developed by professional designers. These challenges cover design in everyday things, design of spaces and places, design for communication and information and design for human interaction.
What is the approach to this competition?
Teachers may take varied approaches to this competition, such as: 1. Use the twelve Design Challenges as the design curriculum for the year for all students and let the students decide who will compete at the state level. 2. Create a team comprised of 12 students plus 6 alternates. Have one student per each of the twelve Design Challenge choices or have students select their own even if other students in your group are also choosing the same one. The alternates are used in case a student/s would be unable to go to the state event. 3. Have small teams of two or three in areas such as Game Design, Videography, or challenges that a student would feel more comfortable competing in, especially younger students. 4. Have students participate in some of the events, but not all. 5. Bring students to observe this event as a learning experience for the first year.
Note: A student may compete in only one design area.
Thank you Visioneer Design Coaches:
for the tremendous job you did for the Visioneer Design Challenge by preparing your students, bringing them to UWM, getting them all set up and organized, assisting with overseeing that things ran well, continually supporting and encouraging students............the list could go on and on. You are providing your students with aesthetic, creative and imaginative understandings in design and having them use technology as a tool for change. They not only know art but they also know better the field of design related to the business world. These students will be grateful to you for doing this for them as they get older. The 21st world of technology is their world and you are helping them better understand and use it. A big thank you!!!
You are the best.
Visioneer Design Challenge Event Chair
I know some of the students have been returning for five years. What a great background they have already through this experience.
To advocate for your art program I would love for you to do one of the following:
1. Put together a VDC video that can be shared with your school board and administrators at a board meeting.
2. Have your students do a presentation of their participation in the VDC for this event.
3. Make a school display of the students work - the challenges, how they were solved, and the on-site process...including the awards and t-shirt sample.
4. Have the students display their journal or other documents that shows the LEARNING PROCESS they went through.
5. If you have an end of the year show, a NAHS function at the end of the year or other function, invite parents and community members and show the VDC video with students talking about their participation and learning from this program.
6. If your school has an award assembly at the end of the year, ask to make presentations to your students at this event using the awards they won at the VDC. (I always did this because art students are often overlooked as "other" academics are recognized..........and I need my students to get their recognition in front of the student body.)
7. TODAY or TOMORROW send a couple images with an article to your local paper. Call them first and tell them how important this event is to your program.
WHY DO THIS? It is extra work but it is something we must do to let people know how VERY IMPORTANT ART IS TO THE EDUCATION OF ALL STUDENTS.Programs are being cut but hopefully we can save them by showing how important this learning is for the 21st century. CREATIVITY, IMAGINATION, AND DESIGN ARE
THE FUTURE. GOOD LUCK and THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR ART AND DESIGN EDUCATION!!!!!!!!
Please study the new 2014 VDC program that is available on this website and blog and encourage your students to commit themselves to various challenges. These are real world of work challenges that are exciting for students to solve.
As you know, these are exciting times in art and design education as things are changing, technology is an awesome tool, and you are motivating students involved in taking charge of their own education. Students do learn more and more deeply when they are confronted by interesting problems to solve. When they are seeking new directions and answers, developing imaginative and creative thinking, solving challenging problems, taking risks, and using design to expand their 21st c world, you are opening new creative opportunities for them. They learn to integrate and connect art and technology.
Your role has changed. If you did not teach in this manner before.....you are the GUIDE, the MENTOR, the MOTIVATOR for enabling your students to enjoy learning and to learn in their own way of understanding. Perhaps you have the next Steve Jobs in your class or the next Steven Spielberg..........or Einstein. Who knows? Wonderful surprises are discovered when you see what happens with students involved in this program. Even the design professionals are amazed at what these students are capable of achieving.
You have the wonderful opportunity to provide those you are privileged to teach/guide to open up fields of learning and creativity they would otherwise never experienced. Being a teacher is the highest profession and you are highly valued by students as they look back on what they have achieved and the manner in which they were given the opportunity to do so. You will be their hero years from now as some of these same students look back on all the opportunities you gave them to have a great education.
This program is the only one of its kind in the US. Others are watching what you do and how you are developing this program statewide. Please do not say that you do not understand technology and therefore do not want to take on this program. The students can do it. It is their world. You don't know all the answers and that is fine. None of us do. Technology is always changing and life is also. Learning is a lifetime activity and we learn along with our students. That’s what makes it so very exciting.
This is a WAEA program. Get your students excited about this opportunity. GO FOR IT. Sign your students up soon.
I look forward to hearing from ALL OF YOU. Virgi Driscoll
To: Wisconsin Art Education Association
Re: The Importance of the Visioneer Design Challenge
Five Design Professionals who are deeply involved in and committed to the
Visioneer Design Challenge program have given their testament to the importance
of this visionary 21st C program for middlle and high school art education
programs throughout the state.
Thanks again for allowing me the opportunity to work with the students for the Visioneer
Design Challenge. I feel I've learned just as much from the group as I believe they did
from me. We had a very engaging opening dialogue about each of their long-term
projects. Right from the start I was blown away by the quality, creativeness, and integrity
of each student's animation. I would venture to say that within the group of 20 that were
present, at least five students possessed the skills necessary to push forward into a
collegiate environment. The rest of the group are well on their way to becoming future
animators--far further than I had anticipated.
I feel very fortunate to report that almost every student was working in a different
medium or process, even though we all work under the umbrella of animation. This
opened up the opportunity to make each animator feel unique, while also retaining a
sense of collective consciousness when relating their methods to that of a professional.
When I left campus in the afternoon, all I could think to myself was, "The Visioneer
Design Challenge is the perfect model for anyone who would like to see the arts remain
in any school system." The speed and age at which these students are able to develop
their skills is uncanny. It was a wonderfully charged symbiotic experience all day long,
and I can't think of a more apt program to show this energy and growth.
As I was handing out the medals and ribbons to the students at the end of the day, I
prefaced the awards with this:
"Though each of you should embrace the awards given to you, you should also look at
these medals and ribbons as a symbol for motivation--motivation to continue your
processes and improve upon them every day. You are the future of animation."
-Travis Whittey, Animator and Animation Instructor,
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
The Visioneer program gives middle and high school students the opportunity to see
where their creativity can bring them later in life and does a wonderful job introducing
students to potential professions. In the last several years working with the Visioneers
program there have been students that are seniors in High School going on to study
architecture the following year as well as younger students that are simply interested in
learning more about the profession. The challenges provide good learning opportunities
for the student as they work on practical workplace projects. All students really enjoy
themselves while pursuing something that they find to be particularly interesting.
-Doug Forton, Architect, Milwaukee
As a graphic designer, I feel that this program gives the students a better idea of what a
future in art can be. I think it takes the concept o graphic design and shows the real
world applications. The students are very receptive and all of them had a great attitude
and asked a lot of questions. With art programs being cut, programs like the Visioneer
Challenge helps to bring back to importance of the arts. I truly consider it an honour to
not only be part of this program, but also the ability to help artists of the future to reach
-Kwasi Amankwah, Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer, @9 Design, Chicago
For the past three years, I have been actively involved with the Visioneer Design
Challenge through the Wisconsin Art Education Association. I became aware of the
Visioneers program through a colleague at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
[MIAD]. As a Professor of Industrial Design, I cannot over emphasize how critical a
design experience is to creative young students. This defining experience can inspire
them to envision a career or occupation in design and succeed in many other
The idea behind design can be confusing to understand for many people. It can be even
more daunting to teach. However, I believe that everyone inherently knows how to
design. When we rearrange a room in the house, when we choose clothing to wear, or
when we plan to plant a garden, we involve ourselves in design thinking. Designing
involves problem identification, cognitive mapping and visual planning in a making
process. There is also a social component in designing regarding making things to
improve people’s lives.
The Visioneer Design Challenge program is a tremendous success and a model for the
entire country to pattern after. Wisconsin is leading the country in design education. Bill
Moggridge, Director of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the Industrial Design Society of
America [IDSA], has called for action plans to do exactly what we have already done in
I feel very strongly about the continued success of this program and look forward to
increased offerings and growing the program. It is extremely critical to offer these
experiences in parts of the state where resources and instruction do not exist. Design
and design thinking are important skill sets that act as a bridge between liberal arts,
business and engineering. More often than not, design is placed within art programs at
the junior high and senior high-school level. These programs are notoriously
With increased program cuts and lack of funding, it is unfortunate that critical skill sets
like problem identification, making, creating, and visual thinking are the first to be cut
from schools. I would add to the list the importance of shop classes such as metal, wood
and mechanics. These classes should be the first to remain, and not be replaced by
computer labs but rather augmented by them. The simple act of making activates the
brain in a way no other learning experience can substitute. Visual problem solving is one
the most valued professional skill-sets. Designing allows students to hone these skills.
I look forward to my continued participation in the Visioneer Design Challenge and
working with Virgi Driscoll. Her leadership in the endeavor has been heroic. I will
continue to work with in the industrial design profession to help expand this program and
develop it into the leading design program offered to this age group in the country.
One goal I envision is to connect with the Cooper Hewitt museum and solicit help in
developing a program based on the state of Wisconsin, and develop nationwide.
Together, with my contacts in the industrial design profession, we can continue to impact
the design education field to younger students beyond our state.
John Caruso, Associate Professor of Industrial Design,
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
I just completed my 5th year as a Visioneer Design Challenge professional and each
year is more amazing than the previous one. The creativity and the amount of work that
the students put into their projects is just amazing to me. This is such a unique
opportunity for students to choose a project, work on it for weeks or months and then
come to UWM to present their work in the Visioneers Design Challenge program. They
get to see their work and that of other students, get their peers feedback, and get the
feedback and guidance from a professional in the industry - all of this in a supportive,
exciting, learning environment.
The most striking thing to me is that these students get the opportunity to see how they
might use their artistic talents in the real world - architecture, video, animation, fashion,
graphic design, web design, etc. For many of them, this is their first glimpse of a
possible career where they can have a good paying, interesting job where they can use
their artistic gifts. It is amazing to me to be able to spend time with these students and
provide guidance to these future leaders of tomorrow.
-Bruce Wachholz, Cedar Creek Web Design, Madison
- Professional Development
- Opportunities for Students