Website builder Wix (opens in new tab) is bringing its Playground Academy (opens in new tab) program to Europe in January 2021. The initiative aims to get professional designers to collaborate with one another while receiver mentorship from award-winning creative during a one-month multi-disciplinary experience.
The Wix Playground Academy was initially launched in 2018, operating out of Wix’s New York office.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the organization to find ways to offer the program digitally - meaning it can now be implemented in new markets.
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A digital playground
The Playground Academy is open to 40 design students as part of each cohort free-of-charge, with participants selected on ability. They will have the option to work on various projects, attend workshops, develop their online portfolios and promote their work. Several courses are available, ranging from responsive design to content writing.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to re-think how they operate, with digital tools filling in for face-to-face experiences. For events, this has proven most difficult, but even festivals (opens in new tab) and expos (opens in new tab) have gone online. As part of the Wix Playground Academy, field trips and get-together experiences will also be digitized.
"Launching the program virtually isn't something we would have instinctively thought to do, as teaching design is a hands-on experience," said Hagit Kaufman, Wix's vice president of Brand and Design.
"However, with in-person classes off the table, we were forced to find creative solutions to digital learning. The summer 2020 program showed us that it was not only possible to run a design program completely remote, but also that there were advantages in doing so. Our Academy graduates have gone on to work at top design firms and for leading brands around the world. COVID-19 has made the job market unpredictable, so being able to expand the Academy to Europe means being able to help more aspiring designers and prepare them for a career in the industry."
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