Created to challenge the status quo, Ion Design Labs at Nebraska Wesleyan University is the first hybrid student run ad agency in the country. While working inside the university setting as a for-credit class, Design Labs is linked with an outside firm. Using innovative design methods and a philosophical approach, Design Labs gives students hands on experience with actual clients under the guidance of and in collaboration with design and branding professionals and a tenured professor.
Ion Design Labs is a class offered by Nebraska Wesleyan’s Philosophy Department, as its focus is on information design. It is not “design thinking”, but the philosophic curation, designing and presentation of information. The methods employed are “non-traditional” as they are not studied in business or art classes. Instead students explore the ideas of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus, Simon Sinek’s codified “start with why”, the product adoption lifecycle, and philosophic approaches to design ranging from Plato to Apple’s Jony Ive to inform their work.
For those looking for to challenge themselves, add to and build their skills, and understand the difference between theory and practice. Ion Design Labs is an experience for you if you want to explore and expand your understanding and the possibilities for a career regardless of major.