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Drexel in Iceland

April 24, 2017

Iceland has harnessed the business of design to create a strong and sustainable economy leading to a recovery from the economic downturn of 2008. Earlier this year, twenty-two students from across the University along with Design & Merchandising Professors Anne Cecil and Alphonso McClendon visited Reykjavik, Iceland and participated in Design Talks and the Reykjavik Fashion Festival, all part of Iceland’s weeklong Design March festival. Investigating the processes of making, selling and manufacturing creative products and services for local and international distribution, students explored the city for inspiration and to experience the socio-cultural aspects of Icelanders to define a vocabulary for Icelandic Design through a variety of Design March events. In addition to design related activities, students toured the sepectacular natural landmarks of the Reykjannes Peninsula, Golden Circle, and Blue Lagoon, and also chased the marvelous Northern Lights.

During the winter term, students studied the "Place" and the "People" through a variety of lenses. They learned about the fundamentals of sustainable resources and what leads to sustainable and creative economies. Each student developed a proposal for an in-depth article exploring an industry of personal interest through a creative economy framework, along with five specific locations for brief reviews. 

Drexel in Iceland: Exploring Creative Economies generally runs every other year, based on Design March dates matching Drexel's Spring Break. There is a two-credit online pre-trip class in Winter Term and a one-credit post-trip class in Spring. Students have direct access to Professor Anne Cecil, faculty in Design & Merchandising with over 30 years teaching experience. Professor Cecil has traveled to Iceland numerous times and is familiar with Reykjavik and Iceland. She is a participant in Philadelphia's creative economy as a maker, seller, educator, and consultant.