How to Improve Design School Education and Teaching - Jon Kolko

In Chapter 15 of 17 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, designer and educator Jon Kolko shares how design schools can improve how they teach. He notes that most design professors teach what they have learned which is rooted in traditional design theory such as Bauhaus form giving, meaning color theory, typography, 2D design and 3D design. He highlights these are relevant for manufactured product design and not necessarily for social problem solving design. Kolko notes how innovative design thinking and doing programs are coming from abroad, including KAOSPILOT and CIID in Denmark and Malmo University in Sweden. These programs are focusing more on social problem solving design and less on mass-produced product design. Kolko is the executive director of design strategy at venture accelerator, Thinktiv ( He is the founder and director of the Austin School for Design ( Previously, he worked at frog design and was a professor of Interactive and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has authored multiple books on design. Kolko earned his Masters in Human Computer Interaction (MHI) and BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.