Science Summer School
University of Society

Prof. dr. Tomaž Deželan, University of Ljubljana

Universities are environments that enable cohabitation of numerous outstanding individuals and groups engaged in many different areas of academic work and beyond. These individuals, operating in such privileged environments, also think hard about what universities and educational institutions in general do and the impact they have. Occasionally, they also break out of traditional disciplinary silos and academic ivory towers to enable such deep thinking in a multidisciplinary environment and between academic and non-academic actors. 

This is important because the curriculum and educational processes in general are one of the most important elements for the development of individuals and societies. Education is not just a process that produces a high-quality workforce and should therefore not be judged solely or mainly on the basis of the return on investment in the production of human capital. Rather, it should be considered as one of the most important guarantors of functioning democratic societies. Firstly, in line with the functionalist tradition, which considers education as a reflection of society, as its imitation and reproduction, it represents the way in which society prepares the essential conditions for its existence. It is the transmission of knowledge and skills to the next generation, thus ensuring sustainability and the self-reproduction of society. In addition to its reflective function, education also has a transformative function through its developmental potential and its ability to enable individuals to overcome personal and societal limitations. 

Consequently, education also has an impact on social mobility and social equity in general by enabling liberation from the constraints of a social group and environment, thus promoting the will for personal development.Thus, through control over curriculum formulation and implementation, and a willingness to experiment with teaching and learning beyond disciplinary and academic walls, the political and economic structures that minimise the possibility of socio-economic patterns can be changed. The Design+Science Summer School is an initiative that not only seeks to stimulate academic reflection beyond the traditional walls of science and art, but also addresses the question of the benefits and necessity of such endeavours for society at large. It explores the questions of the balance of power between different disciplines, between science and art, and between science and society. Design+Science therefore also means Design of Society we Strive For.