Abstract

Industrial design schools have typically functioned as training grounds in which future designers are skilled into becoming proficient creators of more ‘stuff’, many of which prove to be unnecessary and unsustainable. Several research publications examine the integration of sustainability in industrial design education, but most of these focus on ecological aspects, especially because environmental improvement has been the focus of government policymaking and product innovation in the last two decades or so. The social pillar of sustainability has received less attention; in fact there is no accepted definition in the design industry about what constitutes this area. This research investigates whether industrial design education institutions present themselves as being concerned about socially responsible and ethical design aspects, and if there is evidence in their curricula, syllabi and descriptive text regarding coverage of these issues, either as theory-type courses or as studio learning activities. A comprehensive content analysis of the websites of 39 industrial design programs, was conducted, including both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in 17 universities in Australia and New Zealand. This work in progress is the first phase of a project which aims to measure the extent of inclusion of environmental and social responsibility in the curriculum of industrial design degree programs. This initial stage covers the Oceania region; an expansion of the study would include design universities in other developed countries. The second phase would include analysis of curricula and course outlines collected from around the world.

Keywords

socially responsible design, industrial design education

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Ethics and Social Responsibility: Integration within industrial design education in Oceania

Industrial design schools have typically functioned as training grounds in which future designers are skilled into becoming proficient creators of more ‘stuff’, many of which prove to be unnecessary and unsustainable. Several research publications examine the integration of sustainability in industrial design education, but most of these focus on ecological aspects, especially because environmental improvement has been the focus of government policymaking and product innovation in the last two decades or so. The social pillar of sustainability has received less attention; in fact there is no accepted definition in the design industry about what constitutes this area. This research investigates whether industrial design education institutions present themselves as being concerned about socially responsible and ethical design aspects, and if there is evidence in their curricula, syllabi and descriptive text regarding coverage of these issues, either as theory-type courses or as studio learning activities. A comprehensive content analysis of the websites of 39 industrial design programs, was conducted, including both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in 17 universities in Australia and New Zealand. This work in progress is the first phase of a project which aims to measure the extent of inclusion of environmental and social responsibility in the curriculum of industrial design degree programs. This initial stage covers the Oceania region; an expansion of the study would include design universities in other developed countries. The second phase would include analysis of curricula and course outlines collected from around the world.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.