Design Education Research

Research Ethics for Practice-Led Research Methodologies in the Creative Disciplines

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Design Education Research

Research in the creative arts for qualification purposes has developed since the late 1980’s to include creative practice as aspects of both methodology and outputs. The nature of the creative process, and what has been deemed as useful to artist/designer academics, has resulted in many research projects driven by a single researcher, addressing problems of practice from a subjective perspective, with the researcher and the researcher’s actions becoming both the object and subject of the research. This kind of research does not involve other participants and is therefore seemingly precluded from ethical discussion.

The Firma Model: A Tool for Resolving Complex Societal Problems

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Design Education Research

As the focus of design broadens to include problem solving located in complex societal systems the emphasis in design education must shift accordingly. Knowledge of and competence in conducting research within the scope of design practice, and using insights gained from research to conceptualise appropriate solutions is a necessity that design students urgently require.  In support of this need, this paper  will  introduce  and  describe  the  Firma  Model,  a  meta-framework  that  spans  the  human- centered design process, which aims to assist the design student and educator in grappling with complex problems.

Mr Paterson's rounded testimony: ethics, intersubjectivity and the interview

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Design Education Research

As the interview as a method of data gathering has gained in popularity in the disciplines of art and design, templates of consent letters are generated in their hundreds, and the absence of a duly signed document  —  in  a  research  output  using  humans  as  a  source  of  data  —  usually  renders  the undertaking unethical and invalid. However, in the rush to protect the institution and its agents against litigation, it is perhaps forgotten that the signing of the obligatory letter is only a first, technical, step in a personal encounter between individuals.

Paying it forward: Practicing Scholarship of Engagement in Design Education

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Design Education Research

This paper reports on a project named Platform 6, which was designed to facilitate teacher development and thereby to develop teachers as scholars. Initiated within the context of Boyer’s Scholarship of Engagement (1991), Platform 6 is a training programme and awareness drive devised for secondary school design teachers on the pedagogy of teaching design thinking and practice.

The exploratory first leg of Platform 6 was limited to a sample of National Senior Certificate (NSC) schools in the Western Cape. Qualitative-exploratory research methodology was employed to gain real world insight about the teaching and learning environment of design teachers in South Africa. It was useful to understand the dynamics of design teaching in grades 10 to 12 in Western Cape schools.

Designing education for sale: a price tag on Universities of Technology

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Design Education Research

The world exists and is driven by need and yet the notion of education remains static. The new dispensation of Universities of Technology (UoT) in 2004 created a sense of anxiety and exhilaration simultaneously. UoT as a centre of educational delivery has implications for the new role which Higher Education will play. This also impacts on Departments of Visual arts and design within such institutions. The South African context of education is layered with social issues which impact on a broad spectrum of its development.

The demise of design programmes within the public FET system in South Africa: a case for non-formal education

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Design Education Research

This paper investigates the demise of design and related programmes within the public Further Education and Training (FET) system of South Africa.

Policy documents regulating the provision of these programmes were interrogated and the various changes which have occurred in the FET system, especially in terms of restructuring, will be highlighted. These changes have had adverse implications on design education, evidenced in the introduction of the National Curriculum Vocational (NCV) programmes and the unclear status of the ‘old’ Nated programmes. The paper concludes by advocating for non-­‐formal education as a possible antidote for the poor availability of design and related programmes within the 50 public FET colleges.

Failing schools in South Africa: a symptom of defeatism in school leadership

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Design Education Research

This paper draws on a multiple case study on school leadership in seven schools in South Africa. The views and experiences of principals of so called failing schools were elicited and analysed to try and answer the research question: Why could these schools not achieve more than a 20% pass rate in the National Examination for the last five years amongst their grade 12 pupils?

Ethics in Design Research: a reflection on Intercultural Praxis in the Design Disciplines

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Design Education Research

Qualitative research techniques lend themselves to research activities in the design disciplines  due to their  strategies to extract data that contain intangibles such as emotions, aesthetics, perceptions,  embedded  cultural practices, artistic and creative activities. The engagement with subjects that hold this  data is guided by ethical codes of conduct and is governed by ethics committees that provide  approval for such research engagement within a university environment.

Nevertheless (and inevitably) design research in the creative disciplines has moved into ethnography where the  Eurocentric process of collecting data and the associated ethical guidelines and approval process  may no longer be relevant, fair and appropriate.

Why design cannot be taught: graduate attributes and learning in an age of super-complexity

Finding Thought: an investigation into the development of critical thinking skills in Industrial Design

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Design Education Research

In higher education today, it is imperative to equip students with the skills required by their future profession. One such skill, as required of a professional Industrial Designer, is the ability to find creative and suitable solutions to often complex problems. As decision making and problem solving are key elements of a professional industrial designer‘s practice, they should be developed and encouraged as part of the tertiary programme. The trend towards learner driven investigation and research, as well as interactive mixed methodologies, have facilitated many projects requiring thinking skills. But does the learning environment support and develop these skills?

Ethics and Design Research at South African Higher Education Institutions: a Prolegomenon:

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Design Education Research

South African Universities demand of their lecturers, amongst other things, a burgeoning research track record. Such research is inevitably subject to the requirements of research and included in these requirements is that the research is carried out within the bounds of acceptable research ethical practice. Therefore, any research that emanates from Design programmes has to meet the mandate of such research ethical practice.

An integrated teaching strategy: Reflecting on a collaborative design project

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Design Education Research

An integrated teaching strategy was employed at a first year level in the Department Interior Design to strengthen the connection between first year modules and include participation from a related design discipline in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. The teaching strategy aimed to integrate the knowledge and skills that students gain within separate modules and develop their understanding of the interdependence of content that is taught throughout the programme and across departments.

Pitches and Proposals: Linking Reseach and Commercial Strategies

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Design Education Research

One of the central obligations of a post-graduate programme at a university is research. Any research project starts with a research proposal. Therefore one of the central tasks in the training of researchers is mastering the strategies of persuading the overseers of research that the task that the researcher is undertaking is feasible, do-able and worthwhile. To do this act of persuasion the researcher has also to demonstrate that he or she is in all likelihood capable of doing research – this demonstration of competency is built into the proposal. The result of research will be a document like a dissertation.

Pre-Tech-Man

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Design Education Research

This paper questions how we teach and practise within our various specialities without a holistic understanding of the self and our humanity.

Opening Gates: Reflecting on the liaison role of DEFSA at a tertiary level

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Design Education Research

The paper reflects on how DEFSA has delivered on the Forum’s first aim, with specific focus on the liaison activities that takes place at a tertiary level. This aim, as documented in the DEFSA Constitution, reads “Ensuring that liaison is maintained between relevant primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in matters pertaining to design education, between technikons, universities, technical colleges, private institutions, education authorities and the design industry” (DEFSA, 2007a).

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