The Integrated Workshop of Strategic Design combines its teaching proposal with the work of the productive micro-enterprises in the community of reference to the PUCC university. The challenge is to generate a learning experience for students which enables them to make contact with regional producers, arrange a personal and informal meeting and, at the same time, discover a world of unimaginable possibilities to intervene from the design perspective.
Throughout the project, students make contact with local craftspeople, acquire knowledge on their productions, working methods and personal and collective histories, and from the findings, they seek to offer ideas to improve or enrich the work dynamics, the design or functionalities of the products.
In the first part of the course, students participate in various training activities that frame the service-learning project which is implemented in the second part of the course. Teachers place enormous value on this stage of work because of the learnings they promote and the connections they establish. Students, organized in groups, contact with several small-business owners from the Santiago city council, and work together to maximize their product quality, increase sales opportunities, redefine the target customers and expand the market for their goods.
“To serve one another” is recognized by teachers and students as the most valuable experience of this academic journey, an experience that redefines the meaning of teaching and re-signifies learning at university.
“From the beginning, I’ve tried to contribute (to the students) my life experience, not just to teach how to do a job … there is a huge gap between what they learn at university and the workplace.”
(Isaías Vilchez, leather craftsman)
“This work has been super entertaining because we are generally used to working with brands, but in this case, and specifically with Isaías, the objective was much more human. It helped us to think of the person not only as a consumer, but also the person who is producing what is going to be consumed in the designing process.”
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS
UNISERVITATE is a global and networked programme that is established through a process of permanent development and the integration of new actors and institutions from a series of regional hubs strategically distributed around the world.