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Youth Discover Design as Career Pathway to a Just and Sustainable Future

MillerKnoll and GNG logos with the hashtag Design Your Future

“The students really took time to think about their environment and what would need to be changed to make their own school accessible. They were very engaged and thought deeply about accessibility in their daily lives.” 

Martha Doherty, Global Nomads Group

Global Nomads Group and its esteemed corporate partner MillerKnoll teamed up in London to introduce young people to the dynamic field of design, to explore career pathways for designers from underrepresented communities, and to learn how together, they can shape a better future.

Twenty students from the Harris City Academy Crystal Palace participated in an interactive workshop on the theme of “Designing for a Just World,” in conjunction with MillerKnoll’s #DesignYourFuture program.

Through hands-on activities and small group discussions, students examined their built environment — home, school, parks and recreational centers — and how these spaces reflected the identities and met the needs of themselves and others in their community. They considered what places gave them a sense of belonging and what design and building choices increased — or endangered — environmental sustainability. 

The workshop also shined a spotlight on accessibility. After viewing a video of a person who uses a wheelchair trying to navigate London’s often inaccessible public transport system, students delved into the principles of Universal Design, an approach that centers the experiences of people with disabilities to create the most inclusive and efficient spaces.

“The students really took time to think about their environment and what would need to be changed to make their own school accessible,” said Global Nomads Group Programs Coordinator Martha Doherty, who facilitated the session. “They were very engaged and thought deeply about accessibility in their daily lives.” 

To build on this newfound perspective, students were linked to Global Nomads Group’s Architecture for a Just and Sustainable World course, a transformative online experience. The course, created through Global Nomads Group’s groundbreaking by youth, for youth proven approach, offers an in-depth exploration of the cultural and historical significance of built structures and a closer look at how architecture and design careers can lead to a more just and sustainable world.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with our partners MillerKnoll to advance our shared goal of creating pathways for young people to share their diverse perspectives, bridge their differences, and develop solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow ” said CEO of Global Nomads Group Courtney Welsh. “We look forward to continuing this collaboration by bringing similar workshops to other regions in the MillerKnoll network.”

#DesignYourFuture is a program of MillerKnoll that connects young people from diverse backgrounds to increase their awareness of the design industry. MillerKnoll uses modern design to connect people to their work, their lives, their world. 

Global Nomads Group is a nonprofit organization that connects youth across difference and distance to prepare the next generation of young people for engaged citizenship. For more than 25 years, it has engaged youth on the pressing global issues they care about to uncover bias, bridge divides, and motivate community action.

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