REACTION, CARE, COMMUNITY:
OUR GREATEST TEACHING FROM COVID
The Coronavirus emergency has brought loss, damage and enormous inconvenience. However, we need to be able to reverse even negative situations and this event has been also a great lesson for us: a situation of extraordinary difficulty has actually unleashed a very strong energy, a disruptive tension, a drive towards project innovation.
Knowing how to turn a difficulty into an opportunity is a necessary skill for any designer of today and tomorrow and these months have offered everyone a solid opportunity to get out of their comfort zone: for us it was time to think up a really novel academic year.
In recent months, we have brought the school into the homes of more than 5000 students. Two weeks ago, we reopened IED Italia, our home – your school – to students, teachers and staff.
Now is the time to look ahead and we have clear ideas about the future.
Today we are aware that in the face of change a positive REACTION always brings innovation and therefore quality in our projects; we know that TAKING CARE of our people must have at its core the respect of all safety standards and that we must keep strong the sense of a huge local, national and international COMMUNITY so that everyone is guaranteed the same conditions, opportunities and rules.
IED reacted to the emergency by safeguarding the sense of belonging to the School and its Community. Within ten days of the start of the emergency, teaching activities and offices were transferred to remote mode and in a short time this became part of everyday life. The offices, laboratories, lecture rooms have been closed but the teaching never stopped. Being quick to accept change with courage has allowed us to continue to guarantee the quality of our courses. This same ability – typical of every designer – to know how to react to changing situations, will allow us to start the academic year 2020/21 in blended teaching mode: activities in the classroom and laboratories, in full compliance with the rules and personal safety, integrated with DL, i.e. distance learning. Transferring part of the lectures online will free up spaces and workshops in favour of more face-to-face design work focused on quality: training objectives, quality of content, relationship with lecturers and classmates, presence of companies. None of this will be lost.
Our people and their safety have been our priority since the beginning of the emergency and will continue to be so in the future. We took care of our community: students, teachers and staff. Care, in compliance with social distancing, hygienic and safety rules, drives the reopening of our spaces: social distancing signage, body temperature detection at the entrance, supply of the necessary PPE, sanitisation of the environments. The safety of us all is our goal.
We are committed to ensuring that all students have the same opportunities and rules at a time in history that threatens to create wide gaps. We know of students who travelled back home in Italy or who were alone far from home, and international students with similar situations who are physically even further away from their loved ones. We are also aware of the difficulties that some families may be facing, and introduced a financial aid and scholarship programme to support them, so that no one will have to give up their studies.