The Future of Education
21st Century Skills - Highlights of MCBW

Media literacy, creativity, team spirit, and social skills top the list of what are considered as 21st Century Skills. The results of an analysis conducted by Zukunftsinstitut confirm the general consensus that these competences are essential goals of the educational efforts being made to transform today’s industrial sector into a knowledge society.

How well do current educational services actually prepare us to become valuable members of tomorrow’s society? How can design prowess be put to use to make our education system fit for the future?

A reality check clearly shows that – at least in Germany – there is room for improvement when it comes to reaching these goals. The COVID-19 crisis has substantiated that the use of digital media in schools can be deemed largely to have failed. According to the results of the most recent PISA Study, an alarmingly large percentage of 15-year-olds have problems with spelling and/or calculating and indigent families have fewer educational opportunities than the affluent. This situation calls for action and for design competence.

How can design thinking contribute to the development of new learning methods? How can social design help strengthen social skills? What will the appropriate teaching materials of tomorrow look like?

In many cases design is both the solution and the great hope. Design creates and adds value. Design develops true-to-life perspectives and drives sustainability. The six themes of MCBW 2021 will illuminate how design can help shape the future. One of these themes is The Future of Education.



Especially now with mobile Internet, agile companies, and digital teamwork we have to agree on the current role of design and on how disruption in the field of design comes to light. Disruptions tap new markets – and supplant old ones. Not only are those in the creative professions required to identify and implement trends quickly and think with the future in mind, those who educate and train also play important roles in meeting these requirements. What constitutes design? What do young professionals need to learn to succeed in their fields over the long term? The best way to answer these questions is to take all age groups into consideration. During MCBW, representatives of three generations will discuss formative trends in design and creation in a live stream. The discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Oliver Herwig, moderator, journalist, and lecturer on design theory at the University of Art and Design in Linz.



On a day-to-day basis, designers are required to accomplish much more than merely develop attractive products. Designers are creators, strategists, consultants, and trend researchers, all at the same time. With creativity, inventive genius, and the drive to find solutions, designers form an essential and irreplaceable group of professionals – all the more so in an ever-changing world. What are a designer’s tasks? How does our education system prepare aspiring designers to cope with these tasks? How do these changing roles affect companies’ recruiting processes? The roles of designers in an increasingly complex world will be discussed during MCBW by stimulating speakers from the MATES network.



The Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich and its predecessor institutions can look back on more than one hundred years of educating photography students. In this time which is highly influenced by digital media, photography and images play different yet even more important roles. During MCBW, members of the Department of Design will discuss design and democracy and will host a series of online lectures titled Future Images. About the Future of Photography.



Fancy a creativity boost? Kinderkunsthaus and bayern design have initiated a training project for graphic designers. At this online session hosted at the printer’s workshop, youngsters can give full bent to their imaginations and apply a variety of techniques to create their own small pieces of art, for example, rubber stamps. The creations can be used to decorate postcards and miniature posters as well as the respective printing plates. The materials required will be mailed to participants in advance.



Every evening during MCBW, a film will be streamed for 24 hours directly on the MCBW website. A family movie full of color, music, and poetry, Boy and the World allows children to discover the future. In search of his father, a small boy leaves his village and discovers a fantastic world dominated by animal-machines and other peculiar creatures. Without dialog, the film depicts a special take on the conflict between poor and rich, urban and rural, indigenous and non-indigenous people, and manual and industrial labor. Viewers are invited to join a dreamlike quest illustrating the problems and conflicts of the modern world as seen through the eyes of a child. All graphics and animations were drawn by Alê Abreu. The movie was created over a five-year period by 150 artists and engineers.