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Design & Innovation

Complex problem solving is a skill that our students need as they as grapple with challenges in our societies. Design Thinking and digital innovation at UCC will equip them with the technological tools, creative thinking skills, and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle these challenges.

Design in the classroom

Through the hands-on design process, the boys learn lifelong skills and become practical problem-solvers.
Some of the many exciting and innovative aspects of UCC’s IB curriculum involve courses that employ Design Thinking and Design Innovation, which focus on generating solutions to real-world problems. Design courses combine research, awareness-building about societal issues and implications, design creation, as well as prototype development and execution.
The crucial first step in Design Thinking is empathizing with the person or people who will be using the product or service, a perspective that will guide our boys’ research and analysis as they develop prototypes. Students then test their prototypes in a repeated process, taking their learning and applying it to subsequent rounds of testing, and generating a progression of continuous improvement.

Design work focuses on a holistic design process rather than final products and solutions.
Design Thinking encourages reflection, resilience and a high comfort level with ambiguity — positive behaviours that can be transferred to all subjects and that encourage cross-disciplinary projects, especially among students of diverse ages and talents.
These courses are also tailored to the pursuit of the jobs of tomorrow, preparing boys for the ever-evolving realities that will be shaping the years ahead.
The Design program at UCC begins at Year 6 and exposes students to three streams:
  • Digital media design
  • Programming
  • Innovative product design
Classes foster exploration, technological innovation and creative confidence in our students, and challenge boys to do the following:
  • Apply practical and creative thinking skills to solve real-world problems
  • Explore the role of design in both historical and contemporary contexts
  • Consider their responsibilities when making design decisions and taking action.
Options to continue to study any one of the streams will be available in the Diploma Programme.

Cutting-edge spaces

Boys learn lifelong design skills in cutting-edge spaces:

• The Hixon Family Design Lab at the Prep provides students with an inspiring, flexible and safe environment where design programming and initiatives can flourish. 

• The purpose-built Atkins Family Design Lab at the Upper School is a hub of discovery and inspiration. It features stations for both individual and team-centred work, presentation zones, and adaptable spaces to accommodate a range of materials and supplies.

• The Upper School’s film editing labs are equipped with the latest hardware and software.

The Holmes Project Lab at the Prep School was made for collaboration, with small group stations that allow for idea sharing and iterating.

Updated classrooms at both the Prep and Upper Schools feature smart boards, ergonomic desks and chairs and rolling monitor stands.


List of 2 items.

  • Kerry Dupuis

    Head of Science & Design, Preparatory School
  • Paul Miskew

    Faculty Chair, Design & Innovation

Why Design?

The world we’re living in never stands still. Our boys will need complex problem-solving skills and creativity as they as grapple with the challenges of our changing world. UCC students benefit from dynamic course options and cutting-edge facilities that develop their abilities in these areas. We’re dedicated to providing our students with optimal learning tools and environments that will help them thrive in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven landscape. We’ve been introducing design-based programming across all years at UCC and we continue to bring the latest technology and equipment to all grade levels.
The word experience The UCC Difference