1. Documentary Filmmaking

    January 28, 2022 by Niko W. and Dhruv G.

    This project taught me the importance of collaboration and using people as a resource. Because we were able to combine our skillsets, we could create a high-quality final product, which I do not think I would have been able to achieve alone. I learned a lot from this team project, including troubleshooting Premiere Pro and maintaining our sense of humor in stressful situations.

    -Class of 2023 Student Dhruv G.

    As a personal project this term, CM2 students Niko W. and Dhruv G. challenged themselves to develop a short documentary capturing the essence of how modules work at TGS, using the Mo-Botics module as an example. They set out to answer the following driving question: “How can we use documentary filmmaking to capture the essence of PBL at TGS?

    The pair investigated different aspects of documentary filmmaking and combined their prior experience and skillsets to storyboard, plan, and execute the film. They also used a combination of student interviews and shots from module excursions as the film’s backbone.

    By dividing roles and putting in a substantial amount of post-production editing, they achieved a high-quality final product which they presented at the THINK Beyond showcase.

  2. Seher’s Project

    by Seher Y.

    Having the opportunity to create a wearable technology that can potentially be part of the solution for such a pressing issue was something rather exciting to accomplish. I think in-depth research and constant brainstorming helped me make a rather thoughtful project, and I believe I’ve grown a lot.

    -Class of 2023 Student Seher Y.

    Driving Question: How can I create a wearable inspired by the Expo 2020 ‘Opportunity’ theme that solves or draws awareness to a contemporary problem?

    Every 40 seconds, someone ends their life. My smartwatch concept has the primary purpose of monitoring the suicidal behavior of the patient while providing a feature of manually alerting selected people about their suicidal state. The watch monitors physical symptoms (e.g. heart rate, breath irregularities, stress, motion tracking) by using sensors to detect suicide risk objectively and rapidly. Out of sight, easy-to-use, and effective.

  3. Central Palm Project

    by Saffron B.

    I gained a newfound appreciation for all of the work that goes into architecture. This module made me excited for the future since I got to learn about many new and upcoming sustainable technologies.

    -Class of 2023 Student Saffron B.

    My project, “Central Palm,” is located on the golden shores of Kite Beach. The central courtyard is the house’s spine, allowing year-round use due to the shade of the ghaf tree while still maintaining privacy from the outside world. The state-of-the-art Tesla solar roof reduces the owners’ reliance on the grid, even allowing you to sell excess solar energy back to the grid. Water-collecting tech that utilizes local sea breezes alongside sound-absorbing glass, inspired by the Czech Republic Expo pavilion, combines sustainability and modernity, thereby maintaining harmony with the local environment. The house features traditional Islamic design, such as columns, a majlis space for entertaining guests, and a prayer room. This house isn’t the future; this house is now.

  4. Fresh Air Project

    January 27, 2022 by Sara G.

    This module was unique to me, as I had never known how interested I was in architecture until I experienced it during these two months. I have also learned the importance of focusing on the journey and the learning instead of making my product look perfect.

    -Class of 2023 Student Sara G.

    Driving Question: How can I design and build a model home or community that will function efficiently in a desert environment?

    Are you looking for a house that is both nature-friendly and luxurious? Then my project, “Fresh Air,” is perfect for you! Located in The Palm Islands, it combines different panoramic views, from the relaxing beach view to the moat with the fish, and finally, the lush green spaces all around the house.

    This house combines many aspects of sustainability: It saves water by taking it from the beach and using it in the pool and the moat. The greywater is used for watering the garden and for the flowers all around the house. The materials used (concrete, bamboo, etc.) are very eco-friendly. Solar panels help produce electricity using solar energy. The fish in the moat produce waste that contributes to the growing of plants.

  5. Emergent Behavior Simulations

    June 7, 2021 by Seb O.

    Driving Question: How can I apply my knowledge of emergent behaviors in a visual program to find the most efficient rule sets for species’ environments?

    Module Overview: Throughout the course of this project, Seb learned how to program in C# and Java alongside learning how to create a polished simulation of emergent behaviors in species using the Unity 3D-processing software. Emergent behaviors refer to when individual parts come together to work as a whole, in this case, the flocking behavior of birds. 

    Seb started by looking at birds as they are the most heavily documented species in emergent behaviors. He gathered data about the best rule sets. Based on this data, he determined which of the birds’ flocking patterns, including separation, alignment, and cohesion, were the most effective. 

    Project Reflection: “I learned a lot in all aspects of the product: data synthesis, graphing, programming, and more. The bit I enjoyed most was by far the data analysis, as I got some actual feasible results, all from my computer simulation.”

  6. Future of Fashion Module: Estonia’s Circular Economy and Designing a Carbon-Neutral Sneaker

    January 6, 2021 by Viktoria L.

    Driving Question: How might we produce a product or concept that contributes to a more sustainable fashion future?

    What were your goals for this module? How did you achieve them?

    My goals for this module were to learn more about the circular economy in Estonia’s fashion industry and create a sustainable sneaker design using existing solutions. I achieved my goals by doing research and then creating a small presentation and designing a shoe using Photoshop. I gained inspiration from various sneaker companies. My presentation is down below, but you can also access it HERE on Canva, in case you’d like to check out the links and citations.

    What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium?

    In this module, we focused on all the necessary and unavoidable future developments in the fashion industry, which will hopefully happen during the next few decades. As climate change is slowly starting to emerge from all the other problems under the sun, companies are trying to keep up with the demand for sustainable garments. A good illustration of how serious climate change is would be comparing it to our body temperature – if one’s below 37 degrees Celsius, it’s alright. However, only 2 degrees make a big difference in one’s well-being. For example, when I had a high fever, I felt extremely lethargic – now, imagine the Earth not functioning properly. Exactly – it would be a mess, especially happening at a rapid speed!

    It was encouraging to learn how other countries have inspired the Estonian Ministry of the Environment to participate in improving their circular economy systems and how studies conducted have found that, although there’s still a lot of improvement to be done, the environmental awareness index had increased from 37,5/100 in 2014 to 47/100 in 2020. This module made me notice a lot of things I haven’t before, and before buying anything, I’d advise everyone to not rely heavily on surmise, but rather think twice before letting a new clothing item into your life.

    My summative consisted of making a brief summary about sustainability in the Estonian fashion industry. Additionally, I also designed an illustrative sneaker that could contribute to the importance of sustainability. I learned that it’s very challenging to learn how to use Photoshop, even more so to master the art of designing a sneaker (which I think I still need to practice in case I want to continue exploring this area of fashion). I didn’t know a lot about materials and where they’re sourced from in Estonia, nor did I know how much of an impact we could have on garment factory workers’ health and well-being. It wasn’t a big surprise for me to discover that making a sneaker using entirely Estonian-sourced goods would most likely result in more CO2 emissions than just buying it in bulk from Finland, where they, in turn, get it from India or Turkey.


    October 9, 2020 by Theo A.

    Driving Question: How might I use photomontage as a tool to foster socio-politic reflection?


    What was your initial idea and what did you want to do/learn with this project?

    I like to know what’s happening around the different corners of the world. Thus I read and watch a lot of the news. Then I thought: why don’t I make something out of it? That’s how I started it. It’s an ongoing project, and I’m mostly developing my research and multicultural literacy skills. Also, I have been improving my photoshop skills a lot, but it’s not my main focus.

    SO WHAT?

    Did your project development and change from your initial idea, if so how?

    Initially, I did not know the topics I would work on; I just figured it out as I researched through newspapers and magazines. I also visited museums and memorials around different countries in Europe, which worked as an inspiration for some of my montages, which will be available next term.

    What are your big takeaway lessons from this project?

    It’s possible to transform a cabbage into a flower: raw and boring news can become interactive and interesting art pieces.


  8. Creating a Rube Goldberg Machine

    October 8, 2020 by Hanna Westphal

    Driving Question: How can I learn about physics through designing and creating a Rube Goldberg Machine?

    What was your final product?

    My final product was a functioning Rube Goldberg Machine. A RGM is a machine that preforms a function with many pointless steps to get to it. In my case, my function was to feed my dogs. 

    What are you passionate about that led you to choose this project?

    I chose to do this project because I wanted to learn about basic physics laws and how they relate to everyday actions.

    What do you hope people will get from looking at your page?

    I hope people will watch the video of my machine and try to think about what physics it took to make it happen.

    Did your project develop and change from your initial idea, if so how?

    Although I always knew I wanted to make an RBM, the process changed quite a few times. Originally I was going to make it be vertical on a board, but after hours of failed attempts to make anything stick to the board, I decided to make it on a table instead. 

    What are your big takeaway lessons from this project?

    My biggest takeaway from this project is probably patience. It was very frustrating when every time I tried to run it something different would go wrong. I really had to persevere to complete this project.

  9. Vibey

    by Nada A. Kirsten A. and Guillermo M.

    Driving Question: How might we collaboratively implement a design-thinking process to meet the needs of the community we serve?

    What were your goals for this module? How did you achieve them?

    For this module, we all had a common goal, create a fun product for young people that will help them connect with themselves, so we produced a notebook with a lot of cool stuff in it.

    What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium?

    I enjoyed researching and designing the driving questions for the journal. It was really insightful for me because I was basing what we had learned from the interviews and shaping it into something our users could interact with. I like that we were able to refine our product based on the feedback we got. At first, I thought that it would be hard to change all our work for the comments, but it turns out that it was beneficial. It made our vibey journal better.

  10. Earth Against Humanity

    by Gigi, Mat, and Zuzanna

    Driving Question: How might we collaboratively implement a design-thinking process to meet the needs of the community we serve?

    What were your goals for this module? How did you achieve them?

    Our goal was to improve effective communication. We worked as a team, and we upheld our working team agreement, which was to be respectful and honest to all group members.

    What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium?

    We learned the core concepts of the design thinking process and how to apply it to other areas of our lives. We learned efficiency and developed a specialist level of teaming and collaboration 21st-century skills.

Sign up if you would like to receive occasional news from us.