Art and Design Pedagogy in Higher Education provides a contemporary volume that offers a scholarly perspective on tertiary level art and design education. Providing a theoretical lens to examine studio education, the authors suggest a student-centred model of curriculum that supports the development of creativity.

Let’s accept it, doing a PhD can be intellectually challenging, physically tiring and emotionally draining. Your attitude and motivations will have a huge influence on your success

, Professor and Higher Education Studies PhD Co-ordinator, Rhodes University suggest five things to think about if you’re considering a doctorate.

The Department of Motion Design in the Open Window School of Film Arts seeks to appoint a Lecturer in Motion Design. The successful candidate will join enthusiastic academics and professionals in Open Window’s School of Film Arts – an interdisciplinary school comprising Film and TV, Motion Design, Sound, 3D Animation, Game Design, Screen Acting, Production Design and Screenwriting.

2017 DEFSA Conference


The 14th National Conference of the Design Education Forum of SA concluded on a high note yesterday with Prof Dei having the last word. There was a real buzz at the well-attended workshop - "Creative Outputs, Research Outputs and Practice-Led Masters and Doctorates in Design: a strategic round-table." Educators and students shared their experiences and perspectives in lively discussions across all design disciplines! 

Delegates who attended the conference proved up to the challenge of engaging with each other on insightful and pressing issues. Freedom Park offered a unique and meaningful space for fruitful and open deliberation.

Delegates - please complete our snap survey to give feedback to help us improve on future conferences.

Read More     Review the conference

The SAMIP Innovation Challenge is for South African projects and organisations that are building news and information products that engage and inform local/underserved communities, by:

  • searching for new ways to connect people with information,
  • exploring new business models, distribution mechanisms and/or revenue generation opportunities, or
  • creating platforms within existing news outlets for citizen reporting through mobile technology

The deadline for our initial funding cycle is midnight on October 31, 2017.

Inscape Education Group are looking for lecturers in various design fields including Interior / Architecture, Fashion, or Graphic Design, and/or Ideation (Idea Generation) on the various campuses.

Braun’s international competition for product design concepts will soon open for applications.

Further information about the 2018 competition is now available on the BraunPrize webpage The online registration and upload function will be live for project submission from September 20, 2017 – March 20, 2018.

Creative entrepreneurs find it harder than most to be taken seriously.

Many creatives are also guilty of not recognising themselves as business people who make a valuable contribution to the economy and to society – and being respected and paid as well as people in other professions.  Indeed, the cultural and creative industries contribute R90bn to South Africa's GDP, which is not insignificant.

The following is an open letter from Professors Victor Margolin and Ezio Manzini urging all designers to act and respond to the crisis affecting democracy.

The letter invites designers to consider and discuss opportunities in their own practices for enhancing processes of democratization. To be transformative, social innovation has to consider the direction of the desired transformation.

Pat Thomson, Professor of Education in the School of Education at The University of Nottingham

This three part series by Pat Thomson, Professor of Education in the School of Education at The University of Nottingham in the UK makes interesting reading for Peer Reviewers. Please note that the opinions and reviewing style of the author may not represent DEFSA's peer review process.

Academics are trying to rid South Africa’s universities of the procedures, values, norms, practices, thinking, beliefs and choices that mark anything non-European and not white as inferior. Professor of English Language Teaching and Literacy Development, Rhodes University discusses the issue.


The theme of the 2017 DEFSA Conference is "Decolonise!" If you have an appropriate "blog post" or article for this website, please contact

Lesley Le Grange
Distinguished Professor of Curriculum Studies, Stellenbosch University


Design school prepares you for a career in the real world of design, and helps you create a design portfolio. But it can't teach you everything.

With that in mind, we've talked to some successful creative professionals and gleaned what they wished they knew when they were studying design.

Submitted by: Fred Deakin, Professor at University of the Arts London.

It's a confusing time to be a young creative. We are in the middle of the biggest cultural and technological revolution in centuries, and anyone who tells you they know what the digital world will look like in six months, let alone six years, is a liar.

Source: Adele Thomas, University of Johannesburg

Academic plagiarism is no longer just sloppy “cut and paste” jobs or students cribbing large chunks of an assignment from a friend’s earlier essay on the same topic. These days, students can simply visit any of a number of  paper or essay mills that litter the internet and buy a completed assignment to present as their own.

Source: Suné Stassen, Creative Director: Rock City Foundation

You don’t have to want to become a designer to study design. Maybe you’re thinking about becoming an engineer, an architect, a teacher, a musician, a writer, an economist…

Source: Suné Stassen, Creative Director: Rock City Foundation

Choosing a Design course at a Tertiary Institution will be influenced by factors aside from the course content they are interested in - such as availability, affordability and proximity.

Source: Suné Stassen, Creative Director: Rock City Foundation

Design is a wide field spanning different industries and disciplines. In South Africa, some sectors of Design are well developed, while others are emerging. Increasingly, South African Design is taking its place on the international stage, and there is exciting potential being developed all the time. Design has also been introduced as a high school subject, and while curricula have been thoughtfully devised, it will still take some time for the subject to mature.

Industrial designers work to improve the function, value and aesthetics of products like iPods, cars, guitars, and even telephones. The industrial designers aren’t usually tasked with coming up with the overall design or something complex like a car, but they may be in charge of impacting the technical aspects of the overall design by considering the usability and aesthetics of the design.

Christopher Cashdollar's pro tips will get you thinking beyond the pixel and on a path towards long-term professional relevance.

Design 'talent' can only advance your career so far. If you want to be more than just a flash in the pan, you need to diversify your skills and evolve beyond just slinging the hottest pixels. If longevity is an important aspect of your web design career, start preparing to expand your talents.


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