Design by Students for Students

MillerKnoll and PepsiCo empower the next generation of designers to design an innovative student lounge with in-kind furniture contributions   as part of Masterclass design curriculum at Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design

The fastest way to learn is by doing. This rings true for many of us – whether we’re trying a new sport, navigating the pressure of being a new leader, taking up a hobby, or starting a new job.

The students at Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design learn by doing daily. It’s a foundational part of Founder Dr. D’Wayne Edwards’ approach to education at the first and only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) dedicated to design.

With this educational approach in mind, MillerKnoll partnered with Pensole Lewis and PepsiCo to curate a first-of-its-kind Masterclass design curriculum that covered design principles and strategies and ended in a real-life final project: design your own student lounge.

"Our design programs teach students the entire product creation process through our intensive learn-by-doing curriculum," said Pensole Lewis Founder Dr. D'Wayne Edwards. "We've seen the success that comes with opening students' eyes to new career paths in the industry and unlocking more ways they can apply their talents through real-world experiences."

The 10-week intensive course was delivered by associates with mentorship provided along the way from both organizations. The student lounge would round out the school’s existing floorplan with in-kind product contributions from MillerKnoll and its collective of brands. PepsiCo would invest in bringing the winning design to life in the summer of 2023 featuring furniture from MillerKnoll.

Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design is located in Detroit, Michigan, and is currently in its first school year. Photos by John Paul Howard, Content Producer at Pensole Lewis.

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