Design Education Strategy

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.

Reimagining Design Education Through Empathy

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Design Education Strategy

This paper will explore my intervention into decolonising design education as a response to bell hooks’ call for a teaching philosophy that recognises empathy and respect as devices for freedom and sustainable world making. By reflecting on my experience as a recent Masters degree graduate, a newly appointed first-year design lecturer and as a design mentor on a youth training programme I will provide evidence that, in the right learning environment, such a pedagogical approach is possible.

Reinventing design teaching in an era of exponential growth

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Design Education Strategy

Students across the globe are demanding a change in education.  In South Africa, the call is for ‘decolonisation’ of higher education.  Initially, the call was for free higher education, but students then demanded a significant overhaul of higher education; from the removal of symbols celebrating white supremacy, to a change in the selection criteria and policies to promote applicants on more indicators than academic aptitude alone.

Design Education as Woke Work

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Design Education Strategy

Ashraf Jamal (2016b, p. 68) regards the work Us and them, the killer of the world by artist Simphiwe Ndzube (2015) as an important signifier of the sociopolitical turmoil in the national psyche which openly erupted in the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in March of that year. Jamal highlights the essential work of interrogating social realities such as inequality on a structural level (which he argues this artwork accomplishes). He also reminds us that the dynamic of 'us and them' does not passively play out in institutions such as universities, invested in sustaining neoliberal interests as they are, but is actively replicated in such institutions.

Don’t Touch Me on My Discipline! Decolonisation, Disciplinarity and the Problem of Curricular Coherence

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Design Education Strategy

Since the mid 1990’s, recurriculation efforts in South Africa have been marked by ideological complexity. Although there is general agreement, post-apartheid, that curriculum should contribute to the construction of a just, equitable and democratic post-apartheid society, the question of how to get there is not straightforward. Broadly speaking, in the new South Africa, curriculum reform has been oriented around a liberal democratic notion of transformation.

Student Perceptions on Curriculum Change: Art and Design Theory within a New Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree at Nelson Mandela University.

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Design Education Strategy

This paper seeks to describe changes made to the Visual Studies course at the Nelson Mandela University in light of calls for the decolonisation of curricula, and to assess the impact of these changes by reviewing student responses to the revised curriculum. Using this course as a case study, the paper   reflects on students’ experiences of attempts at decolonisation, and seeks to contribute directions for further change.

A Decolonial Academy? Addressing the Oxymoron: How a Series of Performative Art-Science Creative Encounters Might Serve as a Toolbox of Ideas

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Design Education Strategy

Disciplinary practitioners are challenged to respond urgently and positively to calls to decolonize the academy. There is an expectation that the learning experience as well as the curriculum content needs to be fundamentally reshaped in response to the socio-political-economic realities of this century. To add to the complexity, as daily newscasts confirm, outside the ivory towers there is a growing sense that all is not well with the world, and that there is a need for radical social change.

Axis Mundi: A Pedagogical Exploration of the Decolonising Potential of Mythology

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Design Education Strategy

The postmodern condition is such that economies, globalisation, technologies and societal norms have undergone drastic changes and rapid progressions. All of which has made an undeniable impact on the state and function of contemporary education. In a world now orientated towards a “knowledge-based economy”, it becomes ever more pertinent to grapple with not only how knowledge is defined but also how knowledge is constructed and acquired. The #Decolonise movement makes a call for a knowledge based economy that can be understood as vernacular in nature – knowledge structures that are relatable or relevant to specific regional or cultural origins.

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