Abstract

Throughout its short history, formal design education has struggled to find a balance between imparting technical skills and fostering bigger picture, critical and conceptual thinking; and also between notions of passive and active learning. As educators become ever cognizant of a future marked by environmental crisis and accompanying complex problems of population flux, civil unrest, pollution and waste, achieving a balance between “know how” and meta-level thinking has become more pressing. The premise of this paper is that a 21st Century design education can further this goal by confronting the productivist entanglements of its past. It will argue that the lessons of its turbulent relationship with industry provide the seeds for an approach to learning that is better integrated with industry and society than conventional hypothetical studio assignments allow.

Keywords:

education; reform; futuring; interdisciplinarity

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Re-integrating Design Education: Lessons from History

Throughout its short history, formal design education has struggled to find a balance between imparting technical skills and fostering bigger picture, critical and conceptual thinking; and also between notions of passive and active learning. As educators become ever cognizant of a future marked by environmental crisis and accompanying complex problems of population flux, civil unrest, pollution and waste, achieving a balance between “know how” and meta-level thinking has become more pressing. The premise of this paper is that a 21st Century design education can further this goal by confronting the productivist entanglements of its past. It will argue that the lessons of its turbulent relationship with industry provide the seeds for an approach to learning that is better integrated with industry and society than conventional hypothetical studio assignments allow.

 

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