Design Based Learning

Lina Sergie Attar, Founder and CEO, Karam Foundation
Prof. Azra Aksamija, Director and Principal Investigator MIT Future Heritage Lab
Saeed Arida, Founder and Chief Excitement Officer NuVu
Ramzi Naja, Head of Innovation, NuVu-Karam.

At a time when the profession of architecture expands its reach to address global challenges, the discipline of architecture itself is being deployed and leveraged in unprecedented ways to further architects’ and people’s ability to affect change. This panel will explore the impact of designing an innovative curriculum — founded in the architectural process — to transform traumatized and vulnerable communities of Syrian refugee teens, into leaders. Abstract Makerspaces and design labs are becoming the norm in elite schools across the US. Karam Foundation and NuVu Studio, both founded by MArch alumni from MIT, embarked on a journey to deliver this cutting-edge learning model to Syrian refugee teens. While NuVu Studio deploys innovative education in schools in the US and Europe, Karam House — Karam Foundation’s flagship project — is unique. Syrian refugee kids at Karam House learn a wide array of skills that prepare them for higher education and for unique and increasingly important jobs and global opportunities. In their first weeks, they learn how to fabricate through a variety of techniques including 3D printing. Students take on a new challenge in each studio, allowing them to propose, prototype, test, and execute real-life solutions. The impact of these experiences transcends the studio, gradually giving these young adults the agency to transform their lives, circumstances, and communities. Learner Engagement The session will include first-hand accounts and stories from the field, including testimonies from Syrian refugee students and samples of their work presented in various media.