Abstract

Designers draw implicitly on rhetorical modes of appeal (ethos, pathos, logos) in the way they talk about their work in terms of its strategic, social, and cultural impact. Rhetorical practice on its own, however, may not align with an ethical position. Yet design’s increasing emphasis on values, behaviours, and social action indicates a practice that requires expertise in formulating compelling design propositions that inspire people to act. This has significance for design education in relation to developing learners’ capabilities in making more compelling arguments for their design work that emphasise the social and ethical impact of design in use. This paper proposes that such capabilities can be developed by examining the rhetorical modes of appeal integrated with the dialogic aspects of design studio learning (Shreeve, 2015). We discuss results from observations of studio critiques at four Australian universities that sought to gauge the degree to which the rhetorical appeals were implicit or explicit in students’ presentations. We argue that examining how design students describe their work and think about their role as designers improves understanding of the value of rhetorical practice within new and developing fields of design.

Keywords:

design education; design practice; rhetoric; criticism

Creative Commons License

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 25th, 12:00 AM

Have I Got a Proposition for You: Developing the capability for compelling arguments through rhetorical practice inthe design studio

Designers draw implicitly on rhetorical modes of appeal (ethos, pathos, logos) in the way they talk about their work in terms of its strategic, social, and cultural impact. Rhetorical practice on its own, however, may not align with an ethical position. Yet design’s increasing emphasis on values, behaviours, and social action indicates a practice that requires expertise in formulating compelling design propositions that inspire people to act. This has significance for design education in relation to developing learners’ capabilities in making more compelling arguments for their design work that emphasise the social and ethical impact of design in use. This paper proposes that such capabilities can be developed by examining the rhetorical modes of appeal integrated with the dialogic aspects of design studio learning (Shreeve, 2015). We discuss results from observations of studio critiques at four Australian universities that sought to gauge the degree to which the rhetorical appeals were implicit or explicit in students’ presentations. We argue that examining how design students describe their work and think about their role as designers improves understanding of the value of rhetorical practice within new and developing fields of design.

 

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