DesignFest 2020

Stories at the Center: Design and The Human Experience

DesignFest is a multi-part school-wide learning event, harnessing a design-thinking framework to create innovative solutions to challenges all around us. The DesignFest 2020 theme champions the principle that good design starts with understanding the needs of real people and our planet before launching into solutions. Everyone is a designer and we can strive to be very good ones by rooting our work in empathy and taking time to listen to people's stories and learn their perspectives. Teachers at all grade levels created developmentally appropriate design challenges to engage their students in the exciting process of identifying real problems, brainstorming solutions and bringing those ideas into the world as prototypes that are tested and improved.  See also DesignFest 2019: Caring for our Planet.



Grade-Level Design Challenges

Grade Challenge


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Resources preservation on camps



Finding solutions to common playground problems


Social Responsibility

Creating businesses the give back (with a culminating Shark Tank)



Humans and animal endangerment


Book to Screen

Empathy and the power of Point of View (making silent film book trailers to share with Horizons students)


Rights of Passage

Making the Middle School transition


Improving Systems

Redesigning Trinity's dining hall and recycling experiences


Digging into the Future

Story discovery and preservation through an archeological dig + Script to Screen: 7th grade English students go to Hollywood


Design Thinking Walkthrough

Student-run activity stations




Friday, March 13th, 2020

Start Time Activities

8:00 a.m.

All-school Assembly

  • Special guests from Community First! Village
    • Sarah Satterlee, Architect
    • Taylor Graham, Director of Stewardship

8:45 a.m.

Parent Q&A

With Community First! guests in the Dining Hall

9:00 a.m.

Design Thinking Kickoff

  • Activity begins in classrooms across campus.
  • "Materials Marketplace" and "Fabrication Station" open in BHH and Legacy Hall Libraries and D-Lab Jr.

10:40 a.m.

Design Thinking Stations open for visitors

  • Mirror drawing
  • Other-handedness
  • Aphasia simulations
  • Fast v slow (slow down a speedboat and speed up a canoe)
  • What can you do with that?
  • Circles everywhere!  
  • Imagination Playground 
  • Foil and Float
  • 5 Chairs
3D Post-it World with Meg Renwick