Earlier this fall the EDGES team contributed to the design and implementation of the inaugural UBC Design Challenge – new initiative that applies a strategic design method to social, cultural, environmental and economic issues. This cross-campus pilot program experiments with a ‘learn-in-studio’ approach for students, faculty, private and public partners to collaborate, break down and respond to real-world challenges. The theme of this event was WATER, a highly valuable resources that is increasingly impacted by climate change. The Design Challenge was framed around the question: How might urban centres prepare for a water crisis, such as flooding or drought?
During the event, teams of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and professionals worked collaboratively towards solutions to pressing urban water challenges. A number of EDGES team members, including Lucy Rodina, Kiely McFarlane, Scott McKenzie, and Emma Luker, participated as problem experts, providing knowledge and resources to assist the teams with their projects. They also contributed to a brief workbook which provided background information for the participants. On the first day of the event Leila Harris gave a keynote talk outlining some of the key water challenges globally and encouraging the participants to think about equity and justice as they design solutions to water problems.