Balkanska, Alexandra


Current Institution: 

A qualified Interior Designer with an MSc in Sustainable Product Design with years of experience in the field. During the last nine years I have realised my passion for teaching with a special interest in practice based learning and student centred classrooms while integrating theory and practice in an engaging and interactive way. The subject of Critical Studies is challenging and rewarding.

I have come to realise that learning by doing can also successfully apply to a theory subject with great success.

Alexandra Balkanska

Humanising online education: A practical approach to teaching theory online



Design Education Strategy

During 2020/1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, education has had to adapt to a predominantly online learning environment as part of an emergency response strategy that replaced the conventional Face-to-Face (F2F) student interaction. Fuelled by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), we are now steadily moving towards a hybrid-learning environment. The overall notion has been that within the crisis there are also opportunities to evolve, adapt, and make new pathways. However, most local institutions currently rely on a blended method of lecture delivery, which is not as radical.

The role of student-staff partnership and collaborative learning in interior design education



Design Education Research

This paper aims to propose and motivate further research in the sphere of Interior Design education in a private college environment in South Africa. The study focuses on finding strategies that motivate for student-staff partnership and collaborative learning in the theory subject of Critical Studies (CS) within a hybrid/online learning environment. The discussion takes the reader on a journey of analysis and discussion starting with traditional method of education and alternative pedagogies; the value of critical thinking skills in the twenty-first century and research based-education. The emphasis is on Critical Theory in Higher Education (HE) as a valuable drive in stimulating self-reflection that produces graduates that are contributing members to our society.

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. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (