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.

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.

Opening Gates: Reflecting on the liaison role of DEFSA at a tertiary level

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

The paper reflects on how DEFSA has delivered on the Forum’s first aim, with specific focus on the liaison activities that takes place at a tertiary level. This aim, as documented in the DEFSA Constitution, reads “Ensuring that liaison is maintained between relevant primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in matters pertaining to design education, between technikons, universities, technical colleges, private institutions, education authorities and the design industry” (DEFSA, 2007a).

Mapping A Relevant Education And Training Framework For The Jewellery Sector

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper acknowledges the ongoing process being used in the Jewellery sector to develop an integrated training and development framework. The framework progresses from ABET Level 1 to doctoral qualifications and shows how the various qualifications could link directly to specific occupations within a sector. In doing so, this paper addresses the boundaries between education, training, industry and government. More importantly, it indicates the inclusive process followed to open the gates to enter the new terrain of relevant education and training for sector specific occupations.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the South African jewellery sector is aligning education and training within the government’s educational policy.

Interdisciplinary Theory Teaching: Can One Size Really Fit All?

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg has diverse departments ranging from Architecture, Fine Arts and Multimedia to five different design disciplines. After years of being housed in geographically dispersed locations the faculty has recently moved into one building, and is in the process of consolidating and rationalizing the teaching programmes. One area of rationalization has been identified as the theory programme, and we have been assigned the task of identifying theoretical material and drawing up a single teaching programme that most departments could subscribe to.

Testing the effectiveness of student selection

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

In South Africa places in higher education programmes are valuable yet perilous for both the students enrolling for studies and for the institutions enrolling the students. For both, any studies which are unsuccessful or not completed are an increasingly costly misuse of time, money, resources and reputation.

On the part of the institutions, one of the actions intended to minimize this risk is rigorous student selection.

Changing landscape of design

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research
  • Design research shift from market driven to people driven approach – from ‘want’ to ‘need’.
  • New methodologies.
  • New multidisciplinary teams: design for development.
  • New opportunities – international collaboration.

Bridging the epistemological divide between disciplines

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

A position paper based on philosophical issues around the design disciplines

An assessment of the contribution of design education to the knowledge economy in South Africa

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

The Education White Paper (SA, 1997) identifies that the knowledge economy is dependent on knowledge workers that can contribute to the economical development of the country. The White Paper further motivates that it is the role of higher education to provide education and training to develop the skills and innovations that are necessary for national economical development and successful participation in the world economy.

Positioning the Bachelor of Technology: Interior Design within the HEQF

Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

This paper explores the impact of the draft Higher Education Qualification Framework (2004) on the current offering of the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech). The draft HEQF does not include the qualification structure offered by previous technikon-type institutions. Articulation from Diploma into a fourth year (B. Tech) and thereafter postgraduate studies is not evident in the articulation possibilities of the draft HEQF.

In this paper, focus is placed on the offering of the programme: B.Tech Interior Design as offered by the Department of Interior Design, who forms part of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg.

Giving Value to Waste

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

In order to achieve sustainability within the design industry, designers and educators working within changing value systems need to develop practical and contextualised solutions.

This paper examines ecological principles based on growing environmental awareness and the need to imbue responsibility towards our environment and relate appropriate technology.

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