Young Entrepreneurs in America

TJ Kim
Purdue University


Associate Professor
Purdue University

In the past, design was mostly considered a part of the product development process to deliver innovative solutions for business development. But today, the design paradigm has begun to change with more people understanding the true value of the design thinking. Design is not just about technical skill sets to communicate to the others, it is also a creative process and methods to think different. Also, the new meaning of design is about connecting the dots in our community and helping individuals to collaborate with others to find ways to innovate the future. As design leaders and educators, we need to more focus on creating design platforms and communities that influence the young minds with the design thinking, so that design can be learned and practiced continuously by real people in our community. 

Today, after over 15 years of experience in the design industry, TJ Kim has decided to return to school, not as a student, but as an educator to encourage the upcoming young designers with a new role of design in our community. This is what drove him to become an educator today, to influence our community with this the new meaning of design. 

In many cases students are not exposed to learning about design until their college years. This is largely due to the fact that many high school teachers and counselors do not have a solid understanding of the meaning of design and its role in the industry. In this presentation Kim discusses a Chicago-based program called DIG 8 and NFTE that is designed to bring this design-focused education to students as young as elementary and high school.