An education studio
helping schools design and develop
at the intersection of
their mission and their moonshot.
A school's mission speaks to the non-negotiable values and legacy of the school. It is the foundation. And the purpose.
A school's moonshot is what they dream of doing next. For the first time. In ways they've never imagined being possible in the past.
- As educators, we believe that learning and community must always be at the center.
- As designers, we believe that the process must be human-centered and fueled by curiosity.
- As school partners, we believe that open mindsets and authentic collaboration are the key to solving the right challenges for the right reasons in the right way.
Simply put: we love becoming part of the 'life of school'. facilitating dynamic, immersive design processes focused on people and relationships.
This is how we seek to do that:
- Anthropologists and Discoverers: No matter the type of project, The WONDER Project begins each experience as a team of anthropologists. For us that means we must come to understand the community first, solve problems second. We want to observe. We want to notice. We want to take photos. We want to ask people to tell stories. We want to listen. We want to go on tours. We want to get lost.And we want to do so filled with curiosity, without assuming what solutions might (or should) be possible by project's end.
- Pattern and Theme Finders: From there, we watch for emerging patterns and themes to emerge. Often they relate strategically to the project's goals. Sometimes they feel completely unrelated. Always they are powerful and worth exploring further.
- Activators and Facilitators: From there, we work closely with the school community to test and challenge these emerging patterns and themes. Community workshops. Salon Dinners. Interviews and surveys. More community workshops. Design Challenges. Conferences and TED talks. Scavenger Hunts. Keynotes and professional development. And many more community workshops.
- Strategists and Prototypers: At this point, we begin to identify the 'design drivers' that should guide future strategies. At the very least, the 'design drivers' guide the successful development of the project's primary goals. But if we really do our job right, these same 'design drivers' begin to align everything the school does going forward.
- Facilitators and Collaborators: Depending on the concepts, we often team up with schools to facilitate the ongoing cultural and strategic transitions, as well as to partner on launching new initiatives that emerge out of our teams' combined interests.
The WONDER Project grew out of a desire to to help schools make their dreams a reality. We began our careers as educators. And while we've gained a great deal of experience, we remain madly curious about what else is possible. We love what schools dream about. We love what schools imagine becoming over time. And we love what brought each school to this moment in time.
The WONDER Project joyfully believes that the best design challenges to say yes to are the ones that we've never solved before. Neither solved by our partners, nor us.
In that spirit, we choose to:
- be part of projects driven by wonder and curiosity.
- explore initial questions to find the questions worth solving.
- be part of projects that authentically transform school communities.
- be part of projects that transform us -- both our studio and and our personal perspectives along the way.
In other words, The WONDER Project can't be the same studio after the project is completed.
This is what we hope to explore with you and your school community.