Vaal University of Technology

Based in southern Gauteng, Vaal University of Technology draws students from all regions of the country as well as 25 other countries. It is one of the largest universities of technology in South Africa, with an annual enrolment of about 21 000 students. The University is well positioned to make a substantial contribution to the development of human capital in the southern Gauteng region, the country and the continent.

The Visual Arts and Design (VAD) Department comprises four disciplines: Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Photography and Fine Art.

Appropriate pedagogy for practice, the ha-ha in the higher education landscape

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Design Education Strategy

In this paper I argue that appropriate methods and approaches in university teaching require an on- going ontological and epistemological debate. A pedagogic orientation implies a framework for educational decision making and participation that can result in strategic educational failure if it is poorly understood.

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 ethics of Ubuntu and community participation in design

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Design Education Strategy

In order to produce skilled design graduates schools regularly restructure their curricula to develop knowledge  characterized  by  continuous  advancements  applicable  to  the  ever-changing  design industry. New schools are in demand and a concern arises that these offer little more than specialized software training and do not sufficiently prepare students to become empathetic, thoughtful individuals that may serve the needs of society.  Former president of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA), designer and educator Jorge Frascara (2008, sp) confirms this:

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.

Additive manufacturing in 3D product design and development practice: an interdisciplinary shift

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Product & Industrial Design

This paper reflects on aspects that impact on an interdisciplinary shift motivated by technology‐transfer within a University of Technology (UoT). Discussion focuses on the integrated use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) as automated layer by layer 3D printing product design and development technology within a 3D Art and Design studio-practice environment. As emerging technology, AM’s impact has redefined the procedural framework and required knowledge coherence for the development of 3D objects.

Visual literacy in community communication: pretesting nutrition education materials for elderly caregivers in Boipatong

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Media & Communications Design

The paper deals with issues and concerns relating to the process of pre-­‐testing visual  illustrations used in educational material in a community communication setting.

The first part of the paper discusses  how selected aspects of nutrition education materials meant for elderly care givers in Boipatong  were pre-­‐tested using questionnaires (n=55) and focus group discussions in order to establish the  target group’s views and opinions about different types of visual illustration approaches. The  information was subsequently used to guide the production of a visually illustrated nutrition  education booklet, which was distributed free of charge in the community as part of a nutrition  education intervention.

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?

Democratising graphic design: the role of human-centred practice within communication design projects

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Media & Communications Design

The paper reports on a number of human-­‐centred design projects completed as part of the  undergraduate  graphic design programme at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). The value of projects rooted  in participatory design practice and social responsibility is discussed in the context of the  multidisciplinary nature of graphic design and the opportunity provided by the Higher Education  Qualification Framework (HEQF) to re-­‐ design existing programmes at Higher Education Institutions  (HEIs) in South Africa.

Considering "design with intent" within graphic design at a University of Technology

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

Although based in various design disciplines the concept of user centred design (UCD) and "design with intent" has been linked to the notion of "human-centred principles", "design for behavioural change", "persuasion technologies" and "interaction design" at international design institutions for some time.

Understanding how user behaviour can influence technological solutions is critical for designers wishing to effectively tackle social issues such as eco-solutions, effective wayfinding design as well as the design of information brochures/pamphlets. Designers influence behaviour from a distance through the creative products and services that are produced based on their understanding of user behaviour.

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.

Mirror-Mirror-On The Wall

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

A Structured Reflection Framework To Implement Visual Research As Practise-Based Arts
Research Design Illustrated Within An Applied Photographic Educational Context

Although various South African universities engage with art practice research methodologies, the research designs employed have not been clearly articulated or interrogated as of yet, leaving some work to be done towards answering Loxley and Prosser’s (2005) call for a refinement of arts-based research methods.

Documentary photography and indigenous knowledge: some methodological challenges

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Photography, Film & Multimedia

The paper focuses on the role that documentary photographs may play in indigenous knowledge research. Visual methods, or qualitative research where visual images play an integral part of the study design, have the advantage that power imbalances between the researcher and the study population are typically low in comparison to more conservative research designs, especially when the visual material is produced by the members of the study population themselves.

The paper specifically discusses methodological aspects of scenarios where

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