DiscoverDesign is a free online learning tool created by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Teach design thinking and problem solving through design challenges and connect to a community of peers and design professionals.
It’s ideal for use in Career and Tech Ed classes and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) courses. Educators in art and science also find DiscoverDesign to be rigorous and relevant for their cross-disciplinary project-based learning.
Getting Started for Teachers
- Set up an account.
- Complete the registration form – under Role make sure to select Educator.
- Also make sure to Type in your School (this will make it easier to pair you with students)
- Verify your account via email to set your password.
- In order to receive important account information from DiscoverDesign.org, add our email address email@example.com, to your school’s approved email list. Not doing so may cause communication from our site to be blocked or end up in your spam folder.
- Log in
- You will need to verify your Teacher status by filling out the Teacher Verification Form
- We’ll verify your educator status and grant you special access to several classroom-friendly features on DiscoverDesign.
- Once your status as a teacher has been verified, please check out the Teacher User Guide for more information about features available to you.
DiscoverDesign supports 21st Century skills.
21st Century Skills include creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration - using new media and promoting technological literacy.
Case studies explore award-winning green schools around the country and include interactive instructional materials – videos, slideshows, guided questions, architectural construction drawings, interviews with architects, digital models.
Students can choose real-world design challenges and post media from a variety of sources on the Web to inform their process.
Have an idea for a new design problem for your students?
You can modify any existing challenge on the Design Challenges page!
- Click on Design Challenges in the Dashboard
- From here you can Assign Challenges and Modify (or Clone) Challenges
- Teacher-authored challenges are shared in the Teacher Design Challenge Gallery
Connect Students with Mentors
If you’re already connected to architects and engineers in your own community, they can create free accounts and begin volunteering as online mentors to provide feedback on the various stages of your students’ design projects in the Student Gallery.
To identify potential mentors, we encourage you to reach out to your local chapters of:
- The American Institute of Architects,
- The American Society of Structural Engineers,
- The ACE Mentor Program
Or, you can contact us at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and we can help get the word out to mentors we know about you and your students.
Safe Use for Classrooms
If you have any questions about safety and privacy on DiscoverDesign, learn more about how we've protected students' identity. Only anonymous usernames and cities are displayed and students' full names and school names are never shown. We never share account info with anyone.
FAQs / Technical Help
Visit the student help page for more info, a student tutorial video, and technical help.
Questions about using DiscoverDesign in your classroom?