Supported and championed by Learning Environments Australasia, the Mayfield 2018 project brought together the expertise of the NoTosh Team and eleven developing designers, architects and education professionals from across Australia and New Zealand as they looked to explore the role they, as designers, play in creating learning spaces and influencing education.
Their mighty provocation was met with an equally complex and compelling challenge that saw them come together to consider and explore what the right goal(s) for education might be.
Despite the complexity of the challenge set, the eleven selected participants began to chip away at it long before the coming together under one roof, gathering data around a specific question: ‘‘where do teachers go to learn?’. The initial research and the interviews conducted by the participants formed the basis and direction of the immersive three-day weekend, with the NoTosh Design Thinking Process providing the lens.
The participants launched into the NoTosh Design Thinking process with great enthusiasm, ready to take on what proved to be a challenging weekend, despite the fact much of the group had never met previously.
The group analysed the collected data, identified and dove into a number of different problem areas and were pushed to think outside of the box, to challenge their assumptions and the expectations surrounding their role in education, continually supported and provoked by the NoTosh team to think differently.
As the weekend drew to a close, each participant narrowed their ideas down to a single, unique idea, that each individual then had to take back home and pitch to their own professional community. Over the course of the subsequent weeks, the group continued to work collaboratively, online, with support from the NoTosh Team as they looked to narrow down all eleven individual prototypes to just one as they prepared to present their experience, findings and idea to fellow design and education colleagues at the Learning Environments Australasia Conference ‘The 3 Rs in the Exponential Age’.
The 2018 Mayfield Project saw participants come together to explore their assumptions surrounding their role in education, what the right direction for education in Australasia might be, and to create ideas to instil lasting, impactful change across teaching and learning practice in the region.
The group successfully presented their findings and final prototype idea and each left with a newly discovered pedagogical awareness that they, as designers, could influence more than just the space but the quality and diversity of teaching and learning. They found themselves as agents of change, capable of impacting school culture and highlighting where sustainable growth could be achieved.
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‘It’s been a great opportunity to meet and work with people from different places, with different backgrounds, different perspectives and understandings from my own. The collaborative process pushed me to see past my own design bubble and consider ideas from others which I would never have generated myself.’