thinking skills

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.

Information architecture in design education: developing innovation through structured thinking

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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.

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

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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?

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".

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

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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.

Can creativity be taught?

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

 

This paper is based on research conducted for a PhD (completed in 2006) that aimed to develop a methodology for the systematic and strategic fostering of creativity in graphic design education at university or college level.

Tool 1: The Big Six technique
Tool 2: The Random technique
Tool 3: The Mind-map technique
Tool 4: The Visual Thinking technique
Tool 5: The Trigger technique
Tool 6: The Metaphor technique
Tool 7: The Five Senses technique
Tool 8: The Cross-connect technique

The methodology incorporated three main strategies for enhancing creativity in an educational context, namely the teaching of

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