Lincoln vs Chicago: A honey bee challenge

The Chicago-Lincoln Design Learning Challenge is a transatlantic interactive project bringing together 120 designers and educationalists in the name of bees.

Lincoln School of Art and Design
Lincoln School of Art and Design

Who killed the honeybee? That is the question, and separated by 4000 miles of land and ocean, they will attempt to answer it with only their wits and Skype to hand.

Hosted by the University of Lincoln in the UK and The Design Learning Network in the USA, it will be led by director of the Design Learning Network Dorris Wells Papanek and principal lecturer at The University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design, David Bramston.

Honey Bee
Honey Bee

A buoyant Bramston says, ‘We share a vision of creating effective and sustainable links between designers and educational institutions on a global scale, and we hope this will encourage the community to embrace new forms of communication.’

While idea sharing and new forms of communicating are at the heart of the experiment, the enquiry is about bees, and moreover designing sustainable solutions to environmental problems in the context of the BBC documentary Who Killed the Honeybee?

Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago

Bees are dying at an alarming rate. The challenge brief therefore is: ‘Using an eco-centred approach, linked US and UK workshop teams will explore contributing factors to the honeybee’s current trajectory. They will then design a sustainable solution that encourages population growth, restores and maintains nature-driven pollination practices, and enhances the quality of life of locally-based colonies.’

The designers must consider what impact a sustainable approach might have on the ecosystem and the livelihood of beekeepers in the UK and the US.

Honey Bees
Honey Bees

On the UK side, on Saturday 24 August between 3.00 – 8.00pm you want to be at The Lincoln School of Art and Design, Brayford Pool Campus, Lincoln, LNS 7TS.

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