Redesigning Teachers: Inside the Design Studio
Studio 360 Redesign
Friday, January 13, 2012
Every so often, Studio 360 finds some ubiquitous design or cultural object to redesign.
We recently heard from some teachers who hate the old-fashioned iconography that haunts their profession: blackboards, apples, chalkboards. They called it, “apple crapple.” The task, then, is to rebrand educators for the 21st century. Studio 360 selected Hyperakt, a New York design firm that’s done projects for UNICEF and GOOD magazine, among others.
At a recent brainstorming session, former public school teacher Jenna Shapiro summed up the concern of her colleagues: “The visual language associated with the word teacher is so sort of limited and dated. There is no little red schoolhouse. The concept of classroom is changing. What we know about the way kids learn and where kids learn is changing.”
“Why is it that the word ‘teacher’ doesn’t have that reverence that other professions have?” asks Deroy Peraza, who founded Hyperakt with Julia Vakser Zeltser. “Doctors have ‘M.D.’ in the end of their names,” Vakser Zeltser suggests. “Maybe we could get ‘Jenna Shapiro, E.’ for Educator.”
“And that’s sort of our biggest challenge,” Peraza explains. “To elevate the profession to its rightful place of importance in our society.”
Hyperakt will present its new look for educators on next week’s show.