de Lange, Rudi W

Student Photography and Ethical Clearance: Do we need a tailored code for research ethics?

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

In an earlier paper presented at a DEFSA conference, Munro called for a debate on and the development of a research ethics code tailored specifically for design – as opposed to simply importing, applying or borrowing ethical principles applicable (and as such possibly more suitable) to the medical and scientific disciplines.

The aim of this paper is to advocate likewise for a tailored research ethics code, but, more comprehensively, aimed at researchers working in the fields of art, design, as well as photography.

The Value of Using Hypothesis-Testing Research for Graphic Design: Do decorative pictures contribute to learning?

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

Graphic design as an academic and research practice is relatively young when compared to the established disciplines such as education, psychology, medicine, and history. It was only community-type colleges and technical institutions that offered design as a vocational trade. Universities in South Africa started to offer design in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is only in the last two decades that we have seen design research output in South Africa. The relatively low number of international design journals when compared to education, for example, attest to the young scientific discipline of research in design.

Towards a Pragmatic Code of Ethics for Design Research

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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.

Assessment of Postgraduate Studies: Are we missing the mark?

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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.

Ethics and packaging design: Marketing of sugary breakfast cereals to South African children

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Child-orientated sugary breakfast cereals are a prominent product feature in the dry goods section of supermarkets. Scholars in health sciences and marketing have reported on these products’ poor nutritional value and how marketers appeal to children through the use of persuasive television advertising and packaging design. This study presents a visual thematic content analysis of child- orientated breakfast cereal packaging available in local supermarkets. The results indicated that South African marketers use “friendly” and “welcoming” cartoon characters as the most prominent graphic element on breakfast cereal packaging.

Re-representation: Addressing objectifying media portrayals of women in South Africa

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Objectification imparts harm to women and sets a detrimental precedent for self-objectification. This is particularly true for young women who are seeking information to assist them in the process of identity construction. Experimental studies indicate that objectification in media causes negative body esteem, an unnecessary drive for thinness, eating disorders and related psychological problems. Globalised media trends emphasise and value women for their physical appearance. These trends de- personalise women, depict them as objects to be gazed at, and style them as decorative, rather than a person with a mind, aptitude, intellect, personality and a ‘voice’.

Non-maleficence as an ethical guideline to design

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

South Africa finds itself in the difficult position of not having a truly representative voice for design practice. Furthermore, we find ourselves without an advertising regulator with legislative support or legal force with a view on ensuring ethical and non-harmful design practice. The closest we come to such a body, is our advertising self-regulator, namely the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA).

A reflexive account of developing community health care material

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Full Title: A reflexive account of developing community health care material through the use of pre-testing methods and visual persuasion techniques

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a congenital syndrome caused by excessive consumption of alcohol by a mother during pregnancy. It is characterized by retardation of mental development and physical growth, particularly of the skull and face of the infant. FAS is a growing problem in South Africa, with it being rife in the townships and rural areas. The lack of public information and intervention is one of the reasons why the syndrome persists in these communities and this was also the motivation for this study.

Ethics in Design Research: a reflection on Intercultural Praxis in the Design Disciplines

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

Qualitative research techniques lend themselves to research activities in the design disciplines  due to their  strategies to extract data that contain intangibles such as emotions, aesthetics, perceptions,  embedded  cultural practices, artistic and creative activities. The engagement with subjects that hold this  data is guided by ethical codes of conduct and is governed by ethics committees that provide  approval for such research engagement within a university environment.

Nevertheless (and inevitably) design research in the creative disciplines has moved into ethnography where the  Eurocentric process of collecting data and the associated ethical guidelines and approval process  may no longer be relevant, fair and appropriate.

Using Educational Research Results To Improve Graphics For Instructional Material

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

Graphic designers and illustrators intuitively believe that their graphic embellishments such as pictures, photographs and graphics will aid a learner when they use instructional material. The results of empirical studies however indicate that graphic embellishments have a limited effect and only contribute to learning under very specific conditions.

Design solutions to community health communication

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The aim of health communication campaigns is to effect a change in behaviour and attitude.

 

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