Cumulus Conference 2018 : Future Pathways for Design-Driven Entrepreneurship Education

Future Pathways for Design-Driven Entrepreneurship Education

Co-Authors: Rhea Alexander, Vinay Kumar Mysore

Publication Number: ISBN:978-952-60-0092-3


Designing in and for transition, within contexts of constantly changing certainties and boundaries, demands new models of pedagogy; capable of building deep competencies within students beyond the studio’s borders. Academia is facing radical disruption as students demand a redefinition of education (Traitler,Coleman and Hoffman, 2014). This transformation must be applied within design education. How do we educate designers to design for present ambiguity and future uncertainties in a world with radical complexity and wicked problems?

Parsons ELab is a design-driven academic business incubator and research lab with the ambitious mission to develop a distributed academic incubation model. Our research investigates how to transition design education and its evaluation, create models for future academic distributed incubators, and new research methodologies to incubator and accelerator research. Conventional incubation research is focused on understanding the financial impact of incubees through their period of incubation (Messeghem et al, 2017). Parsons ELab has developed a mix of deep qualitative and quantitative research to build a broader view of impact.

Our research offers a unique perspective in evaluating educational, financial and social impact. We find a need to challenge conventional approaches to entrepreneurship research and education. Our findings develop necessary practices in the implementation of distributed academic incubator models. ELab continues to refine its methodology as it works towards a roadmap for other institutions seeking to encourage design-driven entrepreneurship. Our work expands definitions of impact. As we identify new transitions and needs for design-driven, entrepreneurially-focused education, we look to develop new pathways for design students to develop critical competencies.