2011

6th International DFSA conference

Why design cannot be taught: graduate attributes and learning in an age of super-complexity

Understanding cultural identity and visual communication in the appropriation of iconic photojournal

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

Modern society experiences the world predominantly through their eyes and the recognition of vision‘s unique power has led to the development of many new forms of visual communication. Photojournalism is a relatively 'young' form of visual communication; however, photojournalists appreciate that a single iconic image may convey a common understanding of an entire event. It is the aim of the paper to review how the appropriation of an iconic image may suggest original associations, particularly within a South African context.

Transformation issues in the teaching of architectural design

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

As a teacher of architectural design in the first year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, I found that the attrition amongst certain groups of "previously disadvantaged" students was noticeably higher than amongst white students. It became my focus to empirically adapt my teaching to try to facilitate the potential for a successful outcome for all students.

This paper describes the course before 2009, the pedagogical interventions that were made from 2009 to 2011 and the course outcomes. The interventions mainly consisted of practical reorganization, building up cognitive skills and academic behaviours. Current research should reveal whether or which interventions may have influenced the improved throughput.

The social dimension of studio space: face-to-face and beyond - exploring online learner experience

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

There is wide acceptance that the studio stands central to architectural design education (Bakarman, 2003, 2005; Kuhn 2001; Forsyth., Zehner and McDermott 2007). It is a social environment (Gross, 1997; Chen and You 2010:152) which is characterised by communication, critique and collaboration. The studio is a physical place that facilitates pedagogy that supports community-centred instruction. It utilizes the theories of apprenticeship, social constructivism, socio-cultural theory of learning, collaborative learning, situated learning in communities of practice and enculturation.

The Problem with Plagiarism

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

This study examines the concept of visual plagiarism within a contemporary cultural context shaped by postmodern design theory and the digital information age, as a challenging concern for tertiary level graphic design education.

This paper does not condone plagiarism, however it asks design lecturers to reconsider taken-for-granted assumptions that students operate in an unambiguous environment of 'wrong' and 'right' when it comes to the concept of visual plagiarism. It seems that graphic design students find it increasingly difficult to navigating the grey areas between plagiarism, appropriation, homage, inspiration, 'referencing, coincidence and 'accident'.

Synergy between fashion design education and fashion districts

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Cities, and their inner-cities, are in constant flux. One of the reasons for this is the need to address the social and economic conditions which have resulted from the decline in manufacturing and consequent increased levels of unemployment. Regeneration is a means of addressing this problem. It requires a creative and integrated approach and necessitates developing the cultural and economic foci and resources of the city. Furthermore, regeneration also requires collaboration with various stakeholders including higher education institutions (HEIs).

Interior Designers: Unacknowledged role players in South African retail design

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Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

This paper reflects on research conducted on the role of interior designers in retail design within the South African retail sector. Based on three leading corporate retailers, the paper explores the contribution of interior designers to retail design in the South African clothing and footwear retail context. In 2008 these retail companies collectively held more than 50 per cent of a R96.2 billion retail market share.

Their primary turnover is generated through consumer purchases concluded in retail stores. The design of retail stores have become a means of marketing communication and are commonly used as a differentiation strategy by retailers. It is here that interior designers can make a considerable contribution to retailers.

Information architecture in design education: developing innovation through structured thinking

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

In this paper, we position information architecture design and the thinking skills required for its practice as a practical application of the theory of cyberdesign.

We further suggest that these thinking skills, while commonly applied to digital domains, transcend the digital because, at the cognitive level, the information architect is dealing, first and foremost with indeterminate problems. We describe how information architecture design involves the process of deconstructing dysfunctional formations (problems) and the characteristics of the design applied in the reformulation of parts into a functional reformulation.

From 'banking‘ to 'stockvel‘: a critical reflection on the development of literacies

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

This paper presents an analytical autoethnographic reflection on the adaptations in approach to the teaching and learning of literacies that led to the writing and research-intensive literacies programme currently presented to first year visual arts students. It maps our practices to theory, and specifically to those of Freire, Lave and Wenger, Mezirow and the transformational education theorists.

Finding Thought: an investigation into the development of critical thinking skills in Industrial Design

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

In higher education today, it is imperative to equip students with the skills required by their future profession. One such skill, as required of a professional Industrial Designer, is the ability to find creative and suitable solutions to often complex problems. As decision making and problem solving are key elements of a professional industrial designer‘s practice, they should be developed and encouraged as part of the tertiary programme. The trend towards learner driven investigation and research, as well as interactive mixed methodologies, have facilitated many projects requiring thinking skills. But does the learning environment support and develop these skills?

Ethics and Design Research at South African Higher Education Institutions: a Prolegomenon:

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

South African Universities demand of their lecturers, amongst other things, a burgeoning research track record. Such research is inevitably subject to the requirements of research and included in these requirements is that the research is carried out within the bounds of acceptable research ethical practice. Therefore, any research that emanates from Design programmes has to meet the mandate of such research ethical practice.

Enhancing Learner Performance in Design Education for Disadvantaged Students

Developing a discourse in fashion design: What is research for fashion design?

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

The concept of fashion has attracted a great deal of interest from a variety of academic disciplines such as history, culture, anthropology, sociology, psychology and semiotics to name a few. This has often resulted in tension between different approaches. At a conference held in England in 2009 concerning the future of fashion studies, a number of fashion scholars such Rebecca Arnold, Christopher Breward, Professor Stella Bruzzi and many others, deliberated on the methodologies and research agendas that have emerged in the growing research area of fashion studies.

Designing from Behind the Camera: Creative interdisciplinarity in film, architecture and interior design

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

Cultural Action for Change: A case for cross-cultural, multidisciplinary collaborations

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Cultural Action for Change began in 2000 as a joining of artists, educators, and student-researchers to assess sustainability and address the impact of HIV within Phumani Paper; a government-funded poverty alleviation program, establishing hand papermaking and craft enterprises across South Africa. Inspired by ideals of empowerment and self-determination, a series of qualitative, Participatory Action Research (PAR) interventions for HIV awareness and action were introduced at six Phumani papermaking workshop sites. Student researchers and participants, with the collaboration of academics from the University of Michigan, were trained in Photovoice methodology to document with photographs and personal narrative the participants‘ struggles for economic independence.

Creating a Community of Assessment Practice for Graphic Design through the use of E-portfolios

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

An area that currently challenges and will continue to challenge design education in the future is that of assessment. Current research in design assessment has identified approaches such as a holistic assessment, designed to evaluate product, person and process (de le Harpe et al., 2009) and authentic assessment both of which move towards a more learner-centered and process concentrated approach. With these changes come new challenges for design educators to substantiate and validate what they do when it comes to the assessment of student work.

Considering "design with intent" within graphic design at a University of Technology

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

Although based in various design disciplines the concept of user centred design (UCD) and "design with intent" has been linked to the notion of "human-centred principles", "design for behavioural change", "persuasion technologies" and "interaction design" at international design institutions for some time.

Understanding how user behaviour can influence technological solutions is critical for designers wishing to effectively tackle social issues such as eco-solutions, effective wayfinding design as well as the design of information brochures/pamphlets. Designers influence behaviour from a distance through the creative products and services that are produced based on their understanding of user behaviour.

Autoethnography as a research method in design research at Universities

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

It is generally accepted that the process of design is "messy" in that the final design "emerges" from an engagement of the designer with a plethora of sources, stimuli, interactions, commission demands, client needs (and wants) and other practices that engage with the problem at hand. By contrast, most definitions of research and research report writing emphasise the notion of a "systematic investigation" leading to a solution of the problem. Furthermore, most research requires the demonstration of so-called "new knowledge." Thus a research report has to (a) demonstrate evidence of some form of systematic thinking, has to (b) present the findings of that systematic thinking, and has to (c) argue the case from this for "new knowledge".

Are we there yet? Graphic design‘s next destinations

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

The diverse tautology applied to graphic design means different things depending on the perspective from which it is viewed and has become the topic for much debate in recent times. This is of particular relevance to the tertiary educational arena in South Africa, where universities (including Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) which provides the context for this paper) are faced with the dual spectres of programme re-curriculation and Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF)1 level compliancy in the near future and graphic design programmes will have to reconsider their relevance in a changing/changed educational and business paradigm.

An integrated teaching strategy: Reflecting on a collaborative design project

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Discipline: 

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.

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