Design Education Strategy

Exploring the potential of design thinking in the age of fourth industrial revolution in South Africa

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Design Education Strategy

Design thinking (DT) has recently re-emerged as an essential mindset and skillshift for modern organisations seeking to improve innovation performance in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). However, despite recent popularity and success especially in the tech industry, DT has lacked critical academic engagement and scholarly enquiry especially in Africa. Hence, this paper sets out to provide empirical evidence on how DT can help create opportunities and innovation in an AI/Algorithm-driven 4IR era, and why the design curriculum in higher education should be updated to include DT competencies.

The influence of the fourth industrial revolution: A multi-discipline approach for design education

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Design Education Strategy

Klaus Schwab defines the word "revolution" to convey the "abrupt" and "radical" change, which brought about the first, second, third and fourth industrial revolutions. Schwab explains that the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) will transform the way humans communicate, socially connect, function day to day and operate their jobs. The 4IR is not only about technology; its fundamental difference is due to these technologies combining: as a result, the physical, digital and biological spheres overlap.

Developing an educational strategy for emerging technology in design: A case study of the FabLab at FADA, UJ

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Design Education Strategy

Emerging technology is developing at an exponential rate and has a direct impact on design education. This boom in innovation has been dubbed the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This economic initiative was framed at the 2015 World Economic Forum by Klaus Schwab and has been echoed since 2016 by South African politicians as a government and education policy transformation catalyst to South Africa’s struggling economy. Academic scholars are critical about these objectives against the face of high unemployment, poor education and developing foundational skills in South Africa. Educators are confronted with very little support to address this technological development, often leaving design educators with scepticism.

The new 3Rs in design education: A pedagogical suggestion

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Design Education Strategy

In this paper, we do three things. First we discuss the concept of the 3Rs in the anglophone world in the 20th century. Second, we briefly view 3Rs in the context of environmental concerns. Third, we elucidate the three Rs in design education and practice, a concept which we have originated without reference to preliminary models other than Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic and Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. We strive to remain a theoretical as we promote the consideration and inclusion of the full range of technologies in our teaching from the simplest to the more complex, plus the ancient to the most recent of materials, tools and processes for designers. Within each range we look to development of the broadest possible material and skills Repertoire for each designer.

Digital design ethics

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Design Education Strategy

As a socio-technical field, design has always been intertwined with the industrial revolutions. During the continuous growth of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in South Africa, it is prevalent for design education to reevaluate what is taught to young designers.

Positioning Afro-diasporic speculative design episteme in South African higher education institutions

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Design Education Strategy

The watershed Decolonial and Fallist movements in South African universities have reawakened and reignited the necessary, urgent, and compelling need to foreground and position Afro-diasporic episteme in South African university curricula and everyday practice. This article posits that centrally positioning Afro-diasporic Speculative Design (ASD) episteme in South African higher education design institutions, without necessarily displacing or subordinating other knowledge lenses, could positively contribute to engaging with some of the concerns raised by the Decolonial and Fallist movements in design pedagogy and praxis. It contends that African, and its diasporic, speculative designs draw on the retrospective but also project into the future.

Critical design futures: Challenging the gender data gap through pedagogy

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Design Education Strategy

As we enter the era of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) faced with potential ethical and security risks, ensuring sustainable and inclusive innovation within the design industries will be essential. However, this proves unlikely when the design industry itself has inherent biases and inequalities.

Anticipating IR 4.0: Conceptualising a human-centred contribution to the design of emerging complex technological systems

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Design Education Strategy

Emerging IR 4.0 systems have the capacity both negatively and positively to disrupt. While currently much of the design in this regard has for practical reasons focused on technical systems, there is an urgent need to ensure that these systems due to their physical fabrication, pervasive deployment, and autonomous capabilities, are integrated into our human world in a manner that enhances the human condition and ensure planetary sustainment. Supporting this urgent need, this paper suggests that human-centred design (HCD) can make a substantial contribution, albeit with a recasting of its traditional design role.

Preparing the future workforce in African universities of technology: A case of new media art as a mutating discipline in the 4IR

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Design Education Strategy

The industrial revolution, a steady process of change that started in the eighteenth century, has been characterised as presenting different phases. The fourth phase (4IR), which signals an unprecedented convergence of physical, digital and biological spheres into technological forces, is transforming jobs faster than employees can adapt, and setting the base for a different kind of skill. Hence, everyone, including arts and design educators, are asking similar questions about its potential challenges and opportunities in their fields, particularly in the African universities of technology that place emphasis on career-directed courses.

Dismantling boundaries: Does a transdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary tertiary education approach support the development of creative and critical thinking for an Afrikan design and business context?

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Design Education Strategy

In this paper, we examine the impact that transdisciplinary and/or multi-disciplinary educational approaches have in developing critical and creative thinking competencies in a bachelor’s degree context. Strategies relating to integrated assessments within research-based modules are used to explore how transcending disciplinary boundaries in different fields are approached – one a business qualification and the other a creative/design-based qualification. This is also particularly significant in terms of an emerging call to contextualise curricula for Afrika, including adopting more decolonised transdisciplinary research approaches.

Simulated practice: The interior treatise through a cumulative design research process.

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Design Education Strategy

Professional practice provides a context which requires design to be performed as an efficient and linear process (which may be a determining factor in the sustainability of practices). Research is an increasingly important component of accountability for design decisions.

Designing Social Value: Informed Programme Development for Future-Focused Social Entrepreneurship in Africa

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Design Education Strategy

The emergence of young African social entrepreneurs who design social change could translate to significant social value design that, in turn, could improve the future of several communities. Nevertheless, the designed value will only benefit the continent if it is substantial and sustainable. The problem is that many social entrepreneurial endeavours are implemented without a long-term future focus or an understanding of how social value is conceptualised. For this reason, tertiary institutions in Africa should consider presenting training or education related to sustainable social value design.

Towards a Design Thinking Mindset in Academic Staff Development: Cross-continental design principles for blended learning course design

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Design Education Strategy

As a contemporary and boundary spanning approach, design thinking is entering higher education yet is unestablished in academic staff development. This study aims to reflect on two staff development interventions, one offered in the United States and one in South Africa, on blended learning course design, aimed at promoting a ‘design thinking mindset' among university lecturers. By analysing the design process and features of both programmes, we discuss the implications and potential of design thinking for academic staff development. Across these two contexts, there exists an increased awareness of and empathy for a diverse student body, the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, peer mentoring, and reflective thinking.

Assessment of Postgraduate Studies: Are we missing the mark?

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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.

From Experiment to Social Action: The shift in critical design

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Design Education Strategy

Critical design has been philosophically positioned as that which opposes the affirmative role of design as the status quo, offering itself as social critique located in the formalised spaces of museums and galleries. This paper contests that reasoning by firstly showing that in the contemporary sphere, criticality in design now resides in a more socially aware and humanistically engaged space. Design propositions can be expressed from the perspective of modes of enquiry that ask both What if? and How else? questions in the vein of Malpass and Slotnick. These then propose alternative ways of considering design not as a way of seeking answers but as a way of asking questions.

The Postgraduate Supervision Space: From formal meetings to late-night calls

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Design Education Strategy

Undergraduate studies in design disciplines focus the design student’s attention on solving problems through designing projects in purpose-built studios or workshops while having regular face-to-face contact with design lecturers. Postgraduate research requires students to shift their focus from a practically orientated physical space to a theoretical-orientated mind space. The design research requires the student to engage with the solitary deep independent thinking supervision space in which contact and reflection occur. This paper will focus on the supervision space, which is described as both space and place in which the supervision interaction between student and supervisor takes place.

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