Cadle, Bruce

Critical Design as critique of the design status quo

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Design Education Strategy

Contemporary design practice (and theory) is growing up. There is evidence to support the emergence of a new breed of designer who is able to reflect on her or his role in society, and to be critical of what they make and what the resultant consequences of that may be.

Design is often used as a vehicle to criticise and comment on issues, highlight problems and shortcomings in society, and present views and perspectives. This suggests that design is at a distance and impartial, but the truth is otherwise. Design is ideological and an expression of the values mediated by the designer and commissioned by others. This is the status quo: affirmative design. When design steps away from this position and critiques itself, critical design is the result.

Are we there yet? Graphic design‘s next destinations

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

The diverse tautology applied to graphic design means different things depending on the perspective from which it is viewed and has become the topic for much debate in recent times. This is of particular relevance to the tertiary educational arena in South Africa, where universities (including Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) which provides the context for this paper) are faced with the dual spectres of programme re-curriculation and Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF)1 level compliancy in the near future and graphic design programmes will have to reconsider their relevance in a changing/changed educational and business paradigm.

The Politics of Change, Craft and the Bauhaus Reborn: New Relationships in Design Education

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Design Education Strategy

South African education systems straddle the developed/developing world schism, an old-school-style Eurocentric view has long tussled with an Africanist dialectic. Educators struggle with access and upliftment issues whilst implementing outcomes-based learning programmes and simultaneously maintaining academic standards. At Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), conscious of the need to build future capacity, innovation in teaching and learning is paramount and the issues identified above are constantly under debate. Experimentation is an ongoing aspect of teaching methodology.

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