2019

Towards a Design Thinking Mindset in Academic Staff Development: Cross-continental design principles for blended learning course design

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

As a contemporary and boundary spanning approach, design thinking is entering higher education yet is unestablished in academic staff development. This study aims to reflect on two staff development interventions, one offered in the United States and one in South Africa, on blended learning course design, aimed at promoting a ‘design thinking mindset' among university lecturers. By analysing the design process and features of both programmes, we discuss the implications and potential of design thinking for academic staff development. Across these two contexts, there exists an increased awareness of and empathy for a diverse student body, the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, peer mentoring, and reflective thinking.

Writing-up Research Through Design: An approach to research report writing in early level postgraduate education

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Research

In Christopher’s Frayling’s seminal account of design-orientated research, he lists research for design, research through design and research about design as the primary modes of research in the field of design. At least since Frayling termed these concepts in 1993, design educators globally have grappled with supervising research through design. While there are many accounts of research through design, few provide clear theory as to how the approach may be applied, least of all in design education. In the field of human-computer interaction, Zimmerman et al.

Towards a Pragmatic Code of Ethics for Design Research

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Research

Research ethics committees (RECs) at universities evaluate applications for ethical clearance through ethical research lenses shaped by positivist and interpretivist paradigms and cultural constructivist thinking. Such lenses predominantly follow reasoning strategies that could include inductive or deductive reasoning. Research ethics committees further interrogate applicants’ methodology and monitor their actions to determine whether they meet extant research ethics principles.

Nomads and Narratives: Navigating personal and professional literacies in design education

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Research

South African students in higher education face many challenges other than the requirements of the academic programme. This places additional demands on academic staff tasked with delivering specialised content in support of student success rates. In response, we have introduced a subject intended to support first-year design students in navigating studio and theory subjects in a trans-disciplinary way. This subject covers academic, personal and professional literacies. Personal and professional literacies are the subject of this investigation, in which we question how we can support students in preparation for fast-changing future environments?

Assessment of Postgraduate Studies: Are we missing the mark?

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

The first author had the privilege to examine master’s dissertations, as well as doctoral theses on design and design-related topics presented at six universities in South Africa. He furthermore supervised postgraduate students at four universities and served on a variety of postgraduate and ethics committees. This exposure and access to various examination reports and postgraduate assessment criteria provide an informed perspective of the scope, depth and outcomes of, as well as the assessment practices surrounding postgraduate studies in South Africa. Examination reports from examiners outside South Africa are, in general, more favourable with mark allocation than the examination reports issued by South African examiners.

Transferring Experiences from a Photography Practice Research PhD Study into a Creative Practice-Teaching Context

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

In this paper, I reflect on the transferability of the experience of completing a practice-based, as well as the findings of this PhD into my current teaching context in relation to recent developments and relevant literature. While my own study might have made several contributions to my field, and to my own personal development, I critically examine the scope and scale of my final PhD submission in relation to requirements stipulated by various South African institutions that are currently offering PhDs in visual arts and design, as well as recently awarded practice-based (or practice-led) studies in these fields.

Planet of Boiled Frogs: Factors influencing the future environment of design education

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper compares selected analyses of the likely sustainability of society and the factors affecting it, including social, environmental, economic, and political. It examines the likely effects of these factors on South Africa, including possible interactions between them, cumulative effects and feedback loops. The literature increasingly suggests that these effects are likely to be extreme for the South African environment, society and economy, to say nothing of the rest of the world, within the working lives of current or near-future students, i.e. the next forty to fifty years.

From Experiment to Social Action: The shift in critical design

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Critical design has been philosophically positioned as that which opposes the affirmative role of design as the status quo, offering itself as social critique located in the formalised spaces of museums and galleries. This paper contests that reasoning by firstly showing that in the contemporary sphere, criticality in design now resides in a more socially aware and humanistically engaged space. Design propositions can be expressed from the perspective of modes of enquiry that ask both What if? and How else? questions in the vein of Malpass and Slotnick. These then propose alternative ways of considering design not as a way of seeking answers but as a way of asking questions.

The Postgraduate Supervision Space: From formal meetings to late-night calls

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Undergraduate studies in design disciplines focus the design student’s attention on solving problems through designing projects in purpose-built studios or workshops while having regular face-to-face contact with design lecturers. Postgraduate research requires students to shift their focus from a practically orientated physical space to a theoretical-orientated mind space. The design research requires the student to engage with the solitary deep independent thinking supervision space in which contact and reflection occur. This paper will focus on the supervision space, which is described as both space and place in which the supervision interaction between student and supervisor takes place.

Embracing Cosmopolitan Localism for Sustainable Graphic Design Practices in Ghana

Keywords: 

Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

This study expands the concept of cosmopolitan localism by Manzini (2010), which supports the approach of contextualised design solutions and not necessarily a global approach due to context differences. The research adopted an ethnographic approach for studying emerging sustainable graphic design practices with the aid of Sustainability Development Analytical Grid and Activity Theory. The results show the practice of sustainability through the aid of Ghana Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Environmental Protection Agency who checked the content and materials of graphic design products for conformity to set standards.

Pages

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