Abstract

Design is integrated into every discipline practiced today and is employed in a plethora of interdisciplinary techniques which connect design to every aspect of modern life. This paper provides case studies where nature is used as a framework to teach design at the time when the complexity of the world challenges the ways design was traditionally taught. Looking at the university as a system, the author identifies the opportunities where design education could interact with a larger community and provide tools to meet some challenges of the complex world. This includes: teaching design in the classroom, teaching design outside the classroom by integrating it with other disciplines, and teaching design across the curriculum. Using nature as a model for learning, integrated design can be used as a method of investigation or an inquiry that seeks to create new ideas in any field. After testing different scenarios, the author examines what design educators can learn by looking at the ways students first understand theories, practice design skills and later reflect on their experiences. Outlined below are several experimental courses and projects attempting to use nature as a framework to teach and integrate design at every level of undergraduate coursework.

Keywords:

Biomimicry, Interdisciplinary collaboration, Sustainable design, Human-centred design, Innovation.

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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Nature as a framework for teaching design.

Design is integrated into every discipline practiced today and is employed in a plethora of interdisciplinary techniques which connect design to every aspect of modern life. This paper provides case studies where nature is used as a framework to teach design at the time when the complexity of the world challenges the ways design was traditionally taught. Looking at the university as a system, the author identifies the opportunities where design education could interact with a larger community and provide tools to meet some challenges of the complex world. This includes: teaching design in the classroom, teaching design outside the classroom by integrating it with other disciplines, and teaching design across the curriculum. Using nature as a model for learning, integrated design can be used as a method of investigation or an inquiry that seeks to create new ideas in any field. After testing different scenarios, the author examines what design educators can learn by looking at the ways students first understand theories, practice design skills and later reflect on their experiences. Outlined below are several experimental courses and projects attempting to use nature as a framework to teach and integrate design at every level of undergraduate coursework.

 

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