University of Johannesburg

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at University of Johannesburg offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, expanding these fields beyond their traditional boundaries through internal and external collaborations. It has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education. Equipped with state-of-the art, custom-built facilities, the Faculty is staffed by highly regarded academics, artists and designers.

The Faculty is home to approximately 1 300 students who study and work in the custom-built FADA Building on the Bunting Road Campus. 

Many of our graduates are employed in South Africa or internationally in diverse areas of industry, or work as freelance designers, architects or independent artists. Whatever their preference, they have been properly prepared as professionals through creative and entrepreneurial development, which are key factors in the programmes offered.

Whose creative expression is it anyway? A conceptual framework proposed to facilitate an authentic creation process of fashion design mood boards

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Repurposing images has become an integral part of the ideation phase of fashion design processes. The use of online images presents both a challenge and an opportunity for fashion design students who use images of others to communicate a design concept through mood boards. The challenge pertains to the authenticity of their design concepts.

Although the authors of this paper acknowledge the importance of referencing of visual material as a strategy to prevent plagiarism, the argument is made that compilation of mood boards with existing images can be further explored, especially with regard to the accountability of an individual in relation to the concept authenticity.

Do the right thing- combat our unsustainable future with design education

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Governments, policy makers and environmental activists across the globe, entered the 21st century with a renewed focus in combatting the impact of humanities unsustainable practices. To achieve this goal a paradigm shift towards being environmentally responsible and accountable is required in which humanity will have to adopt radical personal change. This paper therefore aims to address the unsustainable future that humanity faces through investigating the role of education as agents of change in motivating sustainable practices and inspiring personal, ethical conduct amongst university students.

 

The role of the industrial design educator in equipping design students to be ethical decision makers

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

The role of the design educator is to mediate learning and equip students to effectively contribute to their specific field once they graduate. With an ever-increasing demand for the ethical consideration of the sustainability of products and the impact of the manufacture thereof, so too the role of the educator should compensate and prepare learners accordingly. This paper aims to investigate the social and environmental responsibilities of industrial design professionals by referring to the works of key authors as well as current industry practices.

Supporting a community through design: Melville Johannesburg

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

In 2012 the Melville Community Development Organisation (MCDO) approached the Department of Strategic Communications at the University of Johannesburg for a collaboration between the University and the Melville community, with the support of the Melville Residence Association (MRA). These Melville institutions requested groups of Honours students to research and propose a solution for the urban degeneration within the area, as perceived by its businesses, tourists and residents.

Embracing a culture of Active Citizenship in Interior Design education

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Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

Citizenship implies association and involvement in a community. Even though the conditions of involvement can be specified by government laws, citizenship is in fact not only a matter of politics, but actually an issue of culture and experience. It can therefore be described as a status and as a set of attitudes, associations and expectations that go beyond territorial boundaries. Active citizenship is the viewpoint that citizens should work for the improvement of their community. The notion requires active participation through economic contribution and volunteer work to improve life for all citizens.

Praxis of Design Education to the current Digital Culture Student

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

If “Design is shaped by the community and community shapes design” (DEFSA 2013 brief author), then how do we teach design to a culture that is engrossed within the ever-­changing information age, what is the impact of this ethos on the current day designer and design?

Sustaining the Johannesburg fashion design incubators: The role of fashion design education

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Internationally, design incubators have emerged as a result of clustering. These design incubators serve as artist studios, or as design centers providing opportunities for young emerging entrepreneurs to acquire studio workspaces located within a cluster of similar economic activities.

In South Africa,  design incubators, particularly fashion design incubators, have emerged in the Johannesburg Fashion District, situated within the central business district of Johannesburg. Research conducted in 2006 established that there were a number of emerging fashion designers located within the Johannesburg Fashion District design incubators. However, interviews conducted in 2012 revealed that the number of fashion designers positioned within these design incubators had declined.

Design process of novice fashion design students: an educator’s reflective analysis

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper centres around a creative design project for first-­‐year fashion design students. This project was informed by (1) the theoretical underpinnings of design thinking, (2) a human-­‐centred approach to design and (3) protocol studies of novice engineering and industrial design students’ approaches to the design process. The design project assumed a design process method that focused on human beings – and their needs – as the driver for fashion design. The aim of adopting such a human-­‐centred method for creative design was three-­‐ fold. Firstly, the design project aimed to create a culture and awareness of human beings and their needs as a driver for fashion design.

Introducing De Jong: reflections upon reconstructing the life and practice of a white English-speaking designer

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Jacob  Dlamini,  in  his  seminal  text  ‘Native  nostalgia’  (2010),  confides  that  the  first  time  he  heard  the  term ‘economic  sanctions’  used in the township  was in the early 1980s when he woke up one day to discover the local Barclays Bank had been renamed First National Bank (FNB). Notably, Dlamini continues to list “a bottle store and … the biggest news agent in Katlehong” as signifiers of urban life of Katlehong, but only the bank is recalled by brand. At the time, the re‐branding of Barclays engendered a storm of protest in South Africa, both in design circles, and amongst members of the public.

Positioning ‘constructivist’ academic research into project-based pedagogical design studies for 4th year Interior Design Degree programmes

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Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

The  purpose  of  this  paper  is  to  discuss  the  benefits  of  embracing  constructivism  as  a conceptual  basis  for  the practice of teaching and learning in interior design degree programmes;  namely Bachelor of Technology,  and BA Honours offered at many of the institutions in South Africa.
 
Deliberation  is  given  to  using  a  constructivist  approach  to  both  teaching  and  learning, and  as  a  research paradigm to better align the research and practical components of these traditionally vocationally-­orientated, project-based design programmes.   
 

Cultivating sustainable thinking through employing a student-centred learning approach

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

In  order  to  save  both  the  planet  and  the  human  race,  society  needs  to  take  action  and  adopt  sustainable practices and approaches. The embedded modes of operations and encultured human behavioral patterns are under attack and radical changes are required, to ensure a future that provides sustainable  living conditions. Through employing various teaching and learning strategies, educators aim to convert the student’s approach and encourage  personal  awareness  that would stimulate   responsible  sustainability  thinking  and design. This paper  explains  how  behavioral  patterns   can  be changed  through  our  teaching  and  learning  approach  thus contributing towards an environmentally responsible design culture and society.
 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

A role for information architecture in design education: indeterminate problems in design thinking

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

When faced with complex problems that are situated in social reality many design students struggle to formulate meaningful and articulate responses to these problems. The cognitive skills required to solve complex problems are often learned only experientially. This paper argues for these latent, yet critical abilities, to be taught explicitly as part of a tertiary design education.

This paper initially reviews the theoretical underpinnings of design thinking with a specific focus on the reciprocal relationship of the design problem and the subsequent solution. A range of the formative cognitive requirements needed to solve complex problems situated in broader society and within disciplinary practice are described in reference to the theoretical framework.

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