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Designing a More Equitable Africa

Tuesday, June 28 2016

Africa's rapid population growth requires new thinking about how to support the infastructure development that will be needed in light of the projected surge. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, 1.2 billion people will be living in urban areas throughout Africa. According to MASS Design Group, there will be a need for 85,000 clinics, 310,000 schools, and 700 million housing units in the coming years. That means three-quarters of the buildings Africa needs have not yet been built. 

This is a challenge that MASS Design Group hopes to solve through the African Design Center Fellowship, its first-ever educational initiative. With its main office in Kigali, Rwanda, the Center is already being called "The Bauhaus of Africa," and it aims to train the next generation of African architects. 

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Spotlight on Auditions

Wednesday, June 01 2016

Performance arts have a long history of using live auditions to determine their best applicants. After all, these candidates are competing based on their ability to fill a room with their physical presence and skills. This in-person process has immense value, but the cost in time and travel may not be practical for large or early-stage applicant pools.

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Interview with Augustana University: Using SlideRoom for Admissions

Tuesday, March 01 2016

Augustana University is a liberal arts college with a significant focus on ensuring applicants attain the professional skills needed to succeed in the job market. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Augustana serves more than 1,800 students from 30 states and 38 countries.

We're spotlighting them here because they represent a segment of smaller schools that don't get enough attention. The majority of schools in the United States are small and they find the legacy choices for enterprise software are neither affordable enought nor nimble enough to meet their needs.

Last year, Augustana University chose SlideRoom to replace their homegrown network of systems for both Undergraduate and Graduate admissions. This involves streamlining the process for applicants, reviewers, administrators, and integrating with a range of campus systems. We sat down with Augustana’s Pete Roberts to discuss their challenges and their use of SlideRoom to address past challenges. 

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Spotlight on NASA Space Telescope

Thursday, December 03 2015

Located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA. They operate the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and will conduct the science and mission operations for the James Webb Space Telescope. In addition to conducting world-class scientific research, they also support other astronomy, outreach, educational  programs.

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Spotlight on AICAD

Tuesday, December 01 2015

AICAD – the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design – is a non-profit consortium of 42 leading art schools in the US and Canada. Membership includes colleges in the US and Canada that are: private, non-profit, free-standing, specialized colleges of art and design, BFA and/or MFA degree granting, and accredited by NASAD (the National Association of Schools of Art & Design) and the appropriate regional accrediting agency.

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How SAIC Uses SlideRoom to Streamline IT Infrastructure for Admissions

Saturday, November 14 2015

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,500 students from around the globe. In 2007, they were one of the earliest schools to adopt SlideRoom for portfolio review. Since that time, they have grown into using all of SlideRoom’s evaluation features for admissions review. Most recently, they have used SlideRoom's integration with the Common App's Scheduled Delivery Service (SDS) to receive applications and corresponding materials directly within SlideRoom.

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Spotlight on Burning Man

Monday, November 24 2014

The Burning Man annual festival has become a seminal event with attendance reaching over 60,000 people in 2014. Started twenty eight years ago in San Francisco, the week-long event eventually moved to Black Rock City in Northern Nevada where it has continued to flourish. The gathering is often described as an iconic experiment in community, self-expression, and interactive art.

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Autodesk: Pier 9 Residency

Tuesday, November 18 2014

Autodesk, the leading software company for 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, is furthering their mission to empower designers by offering an innovative new kind of Artist Residency that is fully equipped for making ideas a reality. It's called the Pier 9 AiR Program, located in San Francisco. The 2-6 month program gives artists, makers, and fabricators a chance to work within a world-class fabrication workshop along with a community of others. This is a unique opportunity for people needing practical resources to move their ideas for physical objects across the spectrum, from conception to reality. The residency includes:

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When Makers Apply to College

Wednesday, April 30 2014

MIT’s culture of making continues to expose how real-world projects seldom live within one distinct domain of knowledge. The practice of moving between disciplines and shifting perspectives creates new kinds of creative momentum — a learning ability MIT is looking for within their admissions process. The illustration above is a representation of their poly-math ethos, by Neri Oxman, published in MIT's Journal of Design

In August 2013, MIT made news by adding Maker Portfolios as an option within undergraduate application to help identify “technical creativity and skill.” A little over two years later, they published a report, co-authored by Chris Peterson and Hal Abelson, discussing the data gathered during that time period:

“In many respects, the Maker Portfolio has been a resounding success. Over the last two years, more than 2000 students have used it to show us the things they make, from surfboards to solar cells, code to cosplay, prosthetics to particle accelerators. We believe the Maker Portfolio has improved our assessment of these applicants and offers us a competitive advantage over our peers who have not developed the processes to identify and evaluate this kind of talent.”

In a separate survey cited in their public letter to the President Obama, 78% of their undergraduate population reported that MIT’s reputation for being maker-friendly made them more likely to enroll.

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