The winter 2020 program at the London Centre, directed by Jamin Rowan (Department of English) and Mat Duerden (Department of Experience Design and Management), offers a unique integration of humanities and business. Students in this program will operate at the intersections of culture and experience design, literary criticism and design thinking, and urban planning and life design. As students explore London’s diverse neighborhoods, travel to cultural sites throughout the UK, and interact with experience providers at places such as Harry Potter Studio Tour and Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium, they will learn to think critically about what it means to design and live a good life as well as the ways that people use literary and cultural objects to tell stories about themselves and others.
The program is designed to get students out of the classroom and into London (and its hinterland) as much as possible. Through frequent and deep engagement with the places and people of the UK, students will learn not only how to analyze literary and artistic representations of those people and places but also how to make sense of the experiences that have been intentionally designed to give those people and places meaning. Students in this program will not be passive consumers of a pre-packaged program but will instead be asked to actively participate in the process of designing their London experience. Rather than write lengthy papers or take rigorous exams, students will be asked to design experiences in the city and at cultural sites for their classmates. Even the time students spend in the classroom will be experiential in nature as they use interactive methodologies, such as design thinking and LEGO® Serious Play®. In every dimension of the program, students will be asked to reflect in both formal and informal ways about the strategies that enable them to learn from their unique London Centre experiences.