Faculty: Amy Leidtke

Biography

Amy Leidtke, Principal of Leidtke Design, is an accomplished industrial designer, artist and educator with a standing record of success combining the disciplines of research, strategic and master planning, ideation and design development, participatory design workshops, in an inclusive professional design practice.

Ms. Leidtke has been directly responsible for the planning, management and coordination of projects reaching millions of people. From studio to shop, she is experienced in all facets of the design process, including brainstorming, programming, design and production.

For twenty-plus years, Leidtke has worked on projects such as immersive play and learning environments, traveling exhibits and products for mass production, including children’s educational kits/activities, medical equipment, retail displays and corporate identity systems. She has worked with clients such as the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Boston Children’s Museum, Henry Ford Museum/Spirit of Ford, Lincoln Children’s Museum, The Building for Kids, Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Rotobin, Simplicity and Zoom (educational public television).

She has a special interest in pediatric design (design for children), and has devoted most of her career to building an expertise in collaboratively developing and designing innovative interactive learning and play environments (museum exhibits and parks), toys, games, activity guides and curricula for children and families.

Leidtke is a master teaching artist, having served as a Designer-In-Residence with public and private schools, working with children, youth and educators to create fun, interactive products and experiences within the context of academically integrated curriculum. Programs focus on themes including but not limited to brainstorming, collaboration, empathy, communication, drawing and design thinking.

Leidtke is a faculty member of SmART Schools, which provides K-12 educators with professional development opportunities, “… dedicated to creating arts-infused schools and classrooms where students of all backgrounds are inspired to meet high academic standards.”

Leidtke is on the Arts in Education Roster of Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), a program endorsed by The New England Consortium of Art-Educator Professionals (NECAP).

Leidtke is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Industrial Design and the Department of Continuing Education at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she teaches design courses, for K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels. A sampling of past RISD college-level studio courses include Curiosita: Practical Applications for Innovative Thinking, Introduction to Industrial Design, Sketching and Rendering for Industrial Design, Industrial Design Principles, Industrial Design Investigations, Drawing Boot Camp and Industrial Design Graduate Studio. 

Leidtke is author of RISD Design Connections: Curriculum Tools for Design Education, which includes a set of design skill-building projects for middle and high school students.

Upcoming Engagements: 

Practical Applications for Assessing Design Thinking, Assessment in the Arts Conference, Denver, Colorado, July 21, 2012

Recent Presentations: 

Seeing and Making Mathematical Paper Structures SmART Schools STEM to STEAM Mini-Institute for Rhode Island Secondary Math and Science Teachers, Brown University's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM), Providence, RI, May 4, 2012

Developing a Design Class Rubric, RISD’s Department of Teaching and Learning in Art and Design, April 30, 2012

Nature Inspired Design Challenge, SmART Schools STEM to STEAM Mini-Institute for Rhode Island Secondary Math and Science Teachers, RISD's Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, Providence, RI, April 27, 2012

Art and Politics: Where Does Influence Lie?, Featuring a collaborative art-making project as a means to discuss American's right to Freedom of Expression (1st Amendment to the US Constitution), Social Engagement Forum, RISD, April 19, 2012

STEAM-Powered Programs for G6 - 16, GEAR Up Conference, New York City, February 13, 2012

Innovating Minds and Hands:Practical Applications for Teaching Design Thinking, Third Biennial Design Science Symposium, RISD, Providence, RI, November 11, 2011

Innovating Minds and Hands: Fetching Design – an Industrial Design Investigation Workshop for G6-12 Educators and Their Students, SmART Schools Institute, East Providence, RI, August 15 – 19, 2011

Innovating Minds and Hands: How Nature Inspires Innovation, Lecture for RISD Industrial Design Principles Studio, Chase Center Auditorium, RISD, Providence, RI, April 19, 2011

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