Carstens, Lizette


Current Institution: 

Lizette started in 1994 as communication designer for an NGO where she designed voter education material for the first democratic elections. She joined QData in 1998 as a multimedia designer. In 2002, she founded her own design agency.

Lizette started lecturing at the University of Pretoria in 2012 and completed her Master's Degree in 2013 on using participatory design approaches during the design process to support SMME's. Lizette joined IIE-Vega in 2014 and is the Programme Manager in Digital and Game Design. She is pursuing Doctoral studies at IIE-Vega.

Research Passions: Co-design; interdisciplinary collaboration, design for social good, decolonisation of design; design management.

Lizette Carstens

Flipping the script: Using artificial intelligence to design authentic assessment rubrics



Design Education Research
Design Education Strategy

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a key driver of innovation across all sectors and in education it has the power to optimise teaching and learning to benefit educators and students alike. However, the increasing prominence and influence of AI in domains previously exclusive to humans, such as design, raises urgent questions about the assessment of learning in design education. Recent writings in the field of design education agree that in the age of AI, educators need to revisit existing assessment practices. Conversations about AI and assessment practices appear to revolve around upholding academic integrity and defining what should be assessed when students can create design outcomes using generative AI.

Communication design industry – in search of unicorns or new pathways?


An integral part of curriculum design is continuously reviewing workplace and industry needs and requirements. International design research and research of a general nature provide some guidance for curriculum developers and lecturers, but research on the local design industry is fragmented and scarce. This lack of available and rigorous research on the local design industry provides a gap for this paper that explores the nature, needs, and requirements of the local design industry and the changing career pathways of designers.

Towards 4IR and African scholarship: Exploring research capacity in the widening discipline of communication design



Media & Communications Design

Scholarship has many dimensions, such as the scholarship of research/discovery; the scholarship of integration, application, and teaching; and the scholarship of public and democratic engagement where knowledge is co-constructed. These broader notions of scholarship challenge the traditional understanding of a university and position scholars and researchers in a broader socio-economic, historical, and cultural context. Design as a field developed and widened as a result of new challenges and opportunities – for example the fourth industrial revolution – and changes in the discipline.

Towards human-centered design solutions: Stakeholder participation during brief development

Carstens, LizetteVega School



Graphic Design & Visual Art

"...the [designer's] task is to design for the individual placed in his or her immediate context." (Buchanan 1998, p. 20)

This  paper  about  a  graphic  design  case  study  discusses  the  positive  impact  of  stakeholder participation during the problem-setting phase of the design process on the designer's ability to reframe the design problem and to conceptualise human-centered design solutions that add value and enrich people's everyday lives.

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 (