collaborative 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.

Framing Complexity: an experience-led approach to designing user research

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Media & Communications Design

Human-Centered Design (HCD) methods have been identified as valuable and effective approaches to designing with and for people, but is also due to complexity and indeterminacy, often difficult to practice. With the popularisation of HCD in contemporary design education, and the subsequent emphasis of human-centered research an ethical question arises as to whether design students are adequately prepared to engage with the type of research that more and more they are expected to conduct.

Supporting a community through design: Melville Johannesburg

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Media & Communications Design

In 2012 the Melville Community Development Organisation (MCDO) approached the Department of Strategic Communications at the University of Johannesburg for a collaboration between the University and the Melville community, with the support of the Melville Residence Association (MRA). These Melville institutions requested groups of Honours students to research and propose a solution for the urban degeneration within the area, as perceived by its businesses, tourists and residents.

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.

Making, co-creating and testing games: Learning about nutrition through play – Fitwits

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Product & Industrial Design

There is substantial educational research on the benefits of play, designed learning opportunities and experiences that incorporate play, and ways that collaboration through play creates opportunities for teachable moments in children's lives (Resnick 2004).  Our research is based on this foundation, using participatory design methods coupled with hands-on learning to create games and activities that teach kids and their families the fundamentals of good nutrition and dietary choices. 

Designing in Person – Locally and Globally

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Architecture & Built Environment

Professional undergraduate degree programs in built environment disciplines prepare students to become practicing architects, interior and landscape architects, industrial designers, planners and construction managers. However, students are rarely exposed to projects in their coursework or in work experience that challenge them beyond the theoretical, and adequately assist them in developing empathy for the needs of disadvantaged or marginalised groups in our society. Design students generally work on briefs provided by their studio leaders, and within discipline-specific groups of their educations programs.

Changing landscape of design

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research
  • Design research shift from market driven to people driven approach – from ‘want’ to ‘need’.
  • New methodologies.
  • New multidisciplinary teams: design for development.
  • New opportunities – international collaboration.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers

Design Educators of South Africa...

With your support & active membership, the Design Educators Forum of Southern Africa can positively influence the young designer's formative training and promote all facets of design across Africa