Creative, practical, and sustainable education
The concept takes its inspiration from the practice of Frugal Innovation: the art of reducing the complexity and cost of products and services, and their production, to meet the needs of developing countries, conscious consumerism, and sustainability. Building on this foundation, the concept incorporates aspects of design thinking, systems thinking, the circular economy, doughnut economics, and sustainable development, and applies them within an education context.
On this site you’ll find a set of guiding principles, each of which has been broken down into three aspects. Whatever you’re looking to create, from in-class activity to learning space; module content to course design; innovation lab to university campus; we recommend you consider each aspect, and their relationship to one another, to help guide you in the creation of great frugal education practice.
The art of doing more with less. Reducing the cost and complexity of products and services, and their production, to meet the needs of developing countries, conscious consumerism, and sustainability.
The terms ‘Frugal Innovation’ and ‘Frugal Engineering’ are just two of the many names that describe this DIY approach to creative problem-solving. Different cultures use different terminology, such as Jugaad in India or Bricolage in France.
Design thinking is a process for innovation, based on understanding user needs, challenging assumptions, redefining problems and creating solutions through an iterative cycle of design and development. The five commonly accepted phases of design thinking are: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
Doughnut Economics is a model for how humanity can thrive in the 21st century and what that means for the future of our planet. Doughnut Economics explores the mindset and ways of thinking needed to maintain a balance for within a social foundation and ecological ceiling for life on earth.
Think of it as a compass for human prosperity in the 21st century, with the aim of meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet, to ensure that humanity does not collectively overshoot the planetary boundaries that protect Earth’s life-supporting systems.
Systems thinking is an approach to design and problem-solving that takes an holistic view of a problem in order to understand its wider impact within a dynamic interconnected system. It is a process that can be used to understand how things influence one another as part of a larger, more complex system.
The fundamental principle of systems thinking is that everything is interconnected. This same principle applies to the sustainability of education, as this too is a complex system, linked to many others on a global scale, such as economics, health, and climate change.
The Circular Economy
A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.
Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.
There are four interconnected and interrelated aspects of sustainable development. These are: environment, culture, society, and the economy. The United Nations have established a set of 17 sustainable development goals for all countries to work together to address.
#Dispatches: So… I’m a Student Again
After what feels like a thousand year hiatus, I'm finally back in the classroom. Today was my first lecture as a PhD student. It felt strange being at a desk listening, and not stood at the front speaking, but it was a refreshing change nonetheless. Absorbing to a...
#Dispatches: The Beginning of the Beginning
Today marks the first day of my PhD journey. I'm currently optimistic, enthusiastic, and full of ideas... I expect this will last about a month. Just kidding! 😆After completing my proposal back in August I've been busy on a variety of projects in my day job, and...
The Importance of Empathy in Learning Design
This week I had the pleasure of seeing my dear friends Dr. Fitri Mohamad and Dr. Jacey-Lynn Minoi who were visiting the lab as guest speakers at this year’s Remix Play 3 event and Creative Play workshops. As if no time had passed, Fitri continued a conversation we’d...
What’s Best for the Student?: The Most Important Question You Should Ask.
Recently, I’ve been working on a project to redesign the main student-facing aspects of our learning management system (LMS), focusing primarily on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) Nice detailed explanations of the difference can be found here,...
#Dispatches: Finding my Own Writing Style
Even at this early stage in learning the ways of academic writing, I’ve come to find that there's a lot of variation in style, depending on who you talk to. It seems there are several ways in which people approach their writing. I have one friend who likes to write in...
#Dispatches: PhD Proposal Submitted
This weekend I’ve finally submitted my PhD proposal, now I have my fingers crossed that it makes the grade. It’s been a hard but interesting few weeks getting acclimatised to the ways of academic research, but it’s definitely been worth it. Thanks to Sylvester Arnab (my director of studies), Richard Hillier, Alan Richards, and Jonathan […]
There’s Madness to the Method
I’m going to use this site to record my thoughts and ideas, starting with relatively unstructured snippets that I can start to combine into more considered concepts. At least that’s the idea. I think it’ll help to get thoughts onto ’paper’, so to speak. I’m hoping the...
GamUp Remixes the Game Design Workshop in Egypt
I was chuffed to find out that my instructional post about Game Design Rapid Prototyping Workshops had been discovered on Medium (where I reposted it ☺️) and used by the team at GamUp to conclude their Game Jam Night in Egypt back in February. Susan Abadir kindly...
#Dispatches: Updates from the Coalface
I've been squirrelled away of late preparing my PhD proposal and it's been quite the journey so far. 😅 Apart from constantly questioning my ability to string even the shortest of sentences together, it's been a valuable learning experience. It's also given me the kick...
Cast Your Slides with Keynote Live
Sync your slides with your audience’s screens for an engaging presentation experience.
Smart Learning Spaces in Bangladesh
Leveraging Frugal Innovation at the Pathshala Institute in Dhaka.
Hack Your Writing; use Your Voice Instead.
How to cure writer’s block by dictating you words of wisdom.
Introducing Design Sprints to Creative Culture Malaysia
Design Sprints are being embraced in Malaysian Education, and it’s awesome!
Game Design Thinking: A Rapid Prototyping Workshop for Educators
During a recent trip to Malaysia as part of Creative Culture project, myself and colleague Oliver Wood designed and delivered a rapid prototyping workshop for the creation of educational games. “What is the Creative Culture project?”… great question, here’s a brief...
Malaysia’s Frugal Education Lab
Building an innovation lab for high-impact low-cost learning.
The One Gif Gym
An example of Frugal Education at its most elegant.