Cape Peninsula University of Technology

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology is at the heart of technology education and innovation in Africa. An internationally acclaimed institution, it is the only university of technology in the Western Cape and is the largest university in the region with an enrolment of more than 30 000 students.

The university has six faculties offering a wide range of accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of Applied Sciences, Business, Education and Social Sciences, Engineering, Informatics and Design as well as Health and Wellness Sciences.

Representations of Agency for Female Documentary Subjects in Selected Films on Netflix

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

Communication design for documentaries is changing with online distribution through global platforms like Netflix. Actuality and entertainment are increasingly often elided in a single program, which confuses the genre categories that tend to underpin the scholarship of documentary as a field of study distinct to that of entertainment. Certain programs are marketed as documentary/docu-series alongside fictional ‘based on real events’ stories and fiction but are constructed as much through significations used in pure entertainment as through those associated with informational and educational media.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

Nomads and Narratives: Navigating personal and professional literacies in design education

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

South African students in higher education face many challenges other than the requirements of the academic programme. This places additional demands on academic staff tasked with delivering specialised content in support of student success rates. In response, we have introduced a subject intended to support first-year design students in navigating studio and theory subjects in a trans-disciplinary way. This subject covers academic, personal and professional literacies. Personal and professional literacies are the subject of this investigation, in which we question how we can support students in preparation for fast-changing future environments?

Embracing Cosmopolitan Localism for Sustainable Graphic Design Practices in Ghana

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

This study expands the concept of cosmopolitan localism by Manzini (2010), which supports the approach of contextualised design solutions and not necessarily a global approach due to context differences. The research adopted an ethnographic approach for studying emerging sustainable graphic design practices with the aid of Sustainability Development Analytical Grid and Activity Theory. The results show the practice of sustainability through the aid of Ghana Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Environmental Protection Agency who checked the content and materials of graphic design products for conformity to set standards.

Exploring design strategies to determine information needs of caregivers

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Discipline: 

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.

Mapping Empathy and Ethics in the Design Process

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

There is no doubt that the role of product designers has changed considerably, not least with the rise of human-centred design. While Papanek’s 1971 “Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change” seemed radical at the time, his ideas seem entirely at home in the 21st century, including his call to adopt more social responsibility in design. These views are echoed in the contemporary  findings  of  professionals  and  researchers  associated  with  ICSID,  the  International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. The focus has shifted, from the designer as the expert to the user, or community, as the expert in their own environment; and Co-design, Participatory design, and Universal Design are but a few examples of such people-focussed design approaches.

The social dimension of studio space: face-to-face and beyond - exploring online learner experience

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

There is wide acceptance that the studio stands central to architectural design education (Bakarman, 2003, 2005; Kuhn 2001; Forsyth., Zehner and McDermott 2007). It is a social environment (Gross, 1997; Chen and You 2010:152) which is characterised by communication, critique and collaboration. The studio is a physical place that facilitates pedagogy that supports community-centred instruction. It utilizes the theories of apprenticeship, social constructivism, socio-cultural theory of learning, collaborative learning, situated learning in communities of practice and enculturation.

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

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Discipline: 

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?

The Ethical Dilemma of a Rapidly Receding Watering Hole: Implications For Design Education

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Ethos, the origin of the word ethics, originally meant a place where animals frequent. When the herds gather at the watering hole how do they interact with other herds, species or competition? How do they behave in a way that they will be welcomed back?

Pedagogical approaches to learning and curriculum development in Design for inclusion and self-reality

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

The study investigates appropriate approaches to new curriculum development and educational practice at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).This is necessary in order to ensure success of the multi-cultural student body and facilitate the creation of ethical and culturally unique design solutions by the Bachelors of Technology (BTech) Fashion and Surface Design learners at CPUT.

By using the research dissertations and studio work of six learners as examples, possibilities of best practice and challenges with regard to this diverse context are highlighted, as the success of these learners in the 2006 BTech programme is analysed in a qualitative manner.

Intersections of the Indigenous and Modern in Settlement Planning Concepts and Traditions in Africa

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Discipline: 

Architecture & Built Environment

Full title: Learning From Synergies Between the Intersections of the Indigenous and
Modern in Settlement Planning Concepts and Traditions in Africa:

The study of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in the built-environment disciplines has for a long time been limited and trapped in the idyllic discourses of 'exotic’ or 'primitive' architecture, and the ‘organic’ nature of the development and planning of such built forms and settlements, by emphasizing the essentially transient nature of these built forms.

From the Grave to the Cradle: The Eco-Design Case for the Re-Evaluation of Hemp

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper argues that the story of hemp is one of mistaken identity and focuses on the potential of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in a social and economic context and how it can help to develop with modern technology into ‘new’ materials on a national level with reference to examples from abroad.

Conformity & Creativity: tensions in portfolio requirements

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper investigates how prospective fashion design students at a University of Technology are required to reflect an understanding of the process of design and the process of construction in their sketches, which are a component of the portfolio they submit for evaluation. I begin by outlining how the portfolio guidelines initiate the anomaly between two desired requirements of novelty and originality / creativity versus the technical / conformity. I reveal how the portfolio requirements encourage students to conform from the onset and argue that this is because the fashion design program continues to train undergraduates to service a traditional and conservative mass market.

Cape Town’s Search for an Inclusive Future

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The anticipated hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ events has provided significant impetus to opportunities for mainstreaming Universal Design in Cape Town. Other cities have been benchmarked to demonstrate the efficacy of Universal Design, albeit in markedly different contexts and using different approaches to effect change. Cape Town stands to benefit from the experience of such cities that have hosted similar mega-events or wherein similar challenges for promoting greater inclusiveness obtain. The issues highlighted in so doing could potentially inform Cape Town's quest to become a sustainable Universal City- in which accessibility, equity and ubuntu form the inherent characteristics of its engagement with its residents and visitors.

Shifting pedagogies: the impact of recurriculation

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

On Monday, June 5 2006, on the front page of the Business Report, it was stated that, “Schools fail to teach the basics, MPs hear”. The article proclaimed that young people were leaving school without having reading or numeracy skills, and because of that businesses were often unable to train young recruits. Each year, fewer than half of the million children who started at grade 1 will register for grade 12. Even those who leave after grade 12 do not have the basic skills to seek work (Hamlyn, 2006: 1).

Some of those school leavers may become our students.

Redesigning education for inclusiveness

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

By responding to issues such as Accessibility, Disability, Inclusive Education, and Universal Design, Design Education is uniquely placed to positively impact upon the greater community. This paper discusses the emerging subject of Universal Design and its potential contribution towards greater inclusiveness in education (and by extension professional practice) in particular, and in society in general. Though Universal Design is relevant to disciplines such as Urban & Regional Planning, Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphics/Information Design, the focus will be on its applications in the context of Industrial/Product Design.

Academic Knowledge Management

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Discipline: 

Design Education Strategy

Many corporate firms, although operating within this age of information and the knowledge economy, still rely on the skill and expertise of individuals to the extent that the ‘organisational memory’ can be severely weakened when that individual’s store of knowledge (skill, know-how, individual memory of corporate behaviour) ceases to function as an input. This highlights a parallel lack of system in organising collective and strategic knowledge - to collate and retain the most valuable and necessary units of knowledge. These circumstances will be compared to the general technikon situation, in which a related, academic, lack of knowledge management is all too evident.

Reshaping Business by Design

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

Design can reshape business by suffusing a design ethos throughout the organisation. This paper will explain the conversion model, indicating how inputs are turned into outputs and the value that design can add in the process. This principle will then be illustrated by four actual case studies: SL Magazine, Steers, Safari Wines and Cadbury's P.S. chocolate.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers

Design Educators of South Africa...

With your support & active membership, the Design Educators Forum of Southern Africa can positively influence the young designer's formative training and promote all facets of design across Africa