Media & Communications Design

Postgraduate Communication Design Education in South Africa: Challenges and opportunities

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Media & Communications Design

The study qualitatively explored the local communication-design-education landscape and identified the structures, nature, challenges and role players. Theoretical models with the potential to guide the development of postgraduate design education were analysed. These are the Mode 1, 2 and 3 models, Innovation Triple, Quadruple and Quintuple Helix models, as well as research approaches that have the potential to better align academia with industry, such as practice-based and practice-led research, recognition of prior learning and work-integrated learning.

Communication Design Futures: A pilot user interface course case study at the University of Johannesburg

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Graphic Design & Visual Art
Media & Communications Design
Software, UX & Game Design

Following a query in 2018 by the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) alumni office to establish in which industries or companies UJ alumni were predominantly employed, information was gathered by members of the department of Graphic Design and data accumulated on a large number of alumni from the Department of Graphic Design.

Typographic Shifts Arising from the Connection between the User, User Interface and Typographic Layout

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Media & Communications Design
Software, UX & Game Design

Typography is constantly shifting its form according to technologies and audiences. Understanding the constant motions of typography is critical in designing forms of visual communication. In addition, current digital technologies provide novel opportunities for users to participate and co-create new typographic conventions. Online ‘fandoms’ consist of communities with interests in cultural phenomena, ranging from fan art to celebrities, to artefacts. Fandoms are an example of user-generated content with strong typographic shifts.

Object Biographies as a method for Communication Design students to construct knowledge in the Design Studies classroom

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Media & Communications Design

This paper reports on the use of object biography writing as a method for Communication Design students to construct knowledge in the Design Studies classroom. Students used a guideline constructed around the stages of the birth, life and death of an object to write an object biography on a mass-manufactured object of their own choice with a focus on how the object is used by individuals to construct and express gender identity.

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

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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.

OgilvyEarth: is this what a future communications agency looks like?

AuthorInstitution
Schaefer, CarmenRed & Yellow

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Media & Communications Design

Viktor Papanek, in his seminal book about ethics and design, Design for the Real World: Human Ecology  and  Social  Change (1971,  revised  1984)  declares  that  designers  share  responsibility  for humankind’s environmental mistakes, by all the products and tools that they have sold and created, either by bad design or by turning a blind eye (1984, p. 56).

The ethics review of visual communication design research proposals: is a 'dual mandate' approach justifiable?

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Media & Communications Design

The majority of institutional ethics committees at South African tertiary institutions state in their standard operating procedures that the role of the ethics committee includes screening proposed research with regard to the core principles of ethics (dignity and autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence), as well as the scientific validity of the envisaged study.  

The first part of this paper debates to what extent such an approach is justified, as the notion of validity is primarily located in the philosophy of science and not in the field of moral philosophy.  

The second part of the paper illustrates some of the main points of the discussion with selected examples from the field of visual communication design research.

The examples are drawn from

Wicked ethics in Design

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Media & Communications Design

Wicked problems are wicked because, amongst other things, understanding problems as existing in society, at the intersection of many possible points of views held by a variety of potential stakeholders introduces indeterminacy. Ethical frameworks in this context may also be multiple and may exist in harmony or dis-harmony alongside each other.

Framing Complexity: an experience-led approach to designing user research

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Media & Communications Design

Human-Centered Design (HCD) methods have been identified as valuable and effective approaches to designing with and for people, but is also due to complexity and indeterminacy, often difficult to practice. With the popularisation of HCD in contemporary design education, and the subsequent emphasis of human-centered research an ethical question arises as to whether design students are adequately prepared to engage with the type of research that more and more they are expected to conduct.

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

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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’.

Exploring design strategies to determine information needs of caregivers

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Media & Communications Design

In this paper, the authors present information needs required by caregivers in a resource-constrained community during their health-education activities with considerations to design ethics. The role of visuals and technology in facilitating health communication, the need to design “with” users and the benefits thereof are discussed.

Non-maleficence as an ethical guideline to design

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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).

Supporting a community through design: Melville Johannesburg

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Media & Communications Design

In 2012 the Melville Community Development Organisation (MCDO) approached the Department of Strategic Communications at the University of Johannesburg for a collaboration between the University and the Melville community, with the support of the Melville Residence Association (MRA). These Melville institutions requested groups of Honours students to research and propose a solution for the urban degeneration within the area, as perceived by its businesses, tourists and residents.

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