Durban University of Technology

With approximately 23 000 students, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is the first choice for higher education in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It is located in the beautiful cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg (PMB). As a University of Technology, it prioritises the quality of teaching and learning by ensuring its academic staff possess the highest possible qualification that they can get.

DUT, a member of the International Association of Universities, is a multi-campus university of technology at the cutting edge of higher education, technological training and research. The university aspires to be a “preferred university for developing leadership in technology and productive citizenship”, and to “making knowledge useful”.

An Unknowable Future: The significance of fashion entrepreneurship education in preparing young designers for the industry

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Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

One of the most significant challenges faced by South Africans is the high youth unemployment rate. Government and the private sector are unable to create sufficient job opportunities to accommodate young graduates. Entrepreneurship is a significant solution in a climate of unstable economy, limited job security and abundant social issues. It is debated whether entrepreneurship can be taught. Some researchers believe entrepreneurs are born and cannot be made. However, employers seek people with specialised skills, quick learners who can easily shift from one role to another (Majithia 2017), competing on a global level. Fashion entrepreneurship education could help prepare students for real business situations, whether as entrepreneurs or responsive employees.

Theory in Design Research: A supervisor reflection on research design

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Design Education Research
Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper is a supervisor reflection on theory selection for research design in design-orientated research. Selection and deployment of theory in a research design can powerfully affect what design research achieves. The research design of a graphic design master’s dissertation targeting ‘research for design’ illustrates this. The view of research design discussed in the paper is not typological or logistical, but instead one where relations between research components are interactive and emergent during the course of the study.

Planet of Boiled Frogs: Factors influencing the future environment of design education

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper compares selected analyses of the likely sustainability of society and the factors affecting it, including social, environmental, economic, and political. It examines the likely effects of these factors on South Africa, including possible interactions between them, cumulative effects and feedback loops. The literature increasingly suggests that these effects are likely to be extreme for the South African environment, society and economy, to say nothing of the rest of the world, within the working lives of current or near-future students, i.e. the next forty to fifty years.

Preparing Fashion Students for a Socially Engaged University Project through Zulu Proverbs

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

In this paper, I respond to the sub-question about the extent to which design educators can incorporate our context and knowledge of Africa into our design disciplines. I provide an example of a socially-engaged design project from a fashion department at a South African University of Technology (UoT) in which second-year fashion students participated. I argue that this project can be framed as an example of critical citizenship education as forwarded by Johnson and Morris (2010). I also grapple with how a diverse student body can be prepared for a design project that perceives the transformation of society as an end.

Past + Present = Future? The Potential Role of Historical Visual Material and Contemporary Practice in De-Colonising Visual Communication Design Courses

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper suggests two possible approaches to researching and conceptualizing aspects of a de-colonized design education for Graphic Design/Visual Communication Design (VCD). Concepts from Post-colonial theory, such as Ngugi wa Thiongo’s decolonization of the mind, Afrocentrism, Homi Bhabha’s hybridity, and appropriation, along with aspects of Social Identity theory are drawn on as means of investigating these approaches.

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

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Discipline: 

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

Creative Industries, Creative Solutions: Developments in a work-integrated Learning Project in Durban

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The creative and cultural industries form a significant employment sector in both the Thames Gateway region in England and the Durban Metropolitan Area in South Africa. Whilst successful completion of a degree has increased the chances of employment and career options for learners in both countries, employability may also be increased through work experience.

Talk the Talk: Traditional Doll Making practice in KwaZulu-Natal

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Full Title: Talk the Talk: How Rural Craftswomen mediate Social Agency through Traditional Doll Making practice in KwaZulu-Natal

In her paper Kate Wells will discuss some of the pertinent theories, methodologies and evaluation modes which underpinned her research with a small group of rural traditional craftswomen from KwaZulu-Natal.

Other Wise: Towards a Meeting of Graphic Design and Indigenous Knowledge

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper will discuss selected issues of transformation and Graphic Design education at the Department of Graphic Design, Durban University of Technology (DUT), and draw preliminary conclusions from recent research. It will begin by discussing the context in which both transformation and Graphic Design education take place at this institution, particularly with regard to the pressures of Globalisation.

It will then discuss certain problems of the relationship between Graphic Design and Indigenous Knowledge, and suggest some methodologies derived from recent projects in our department, as possible ways forward. The Indigenous Knowledge of the amaZulu people is the source consulted in this case.

Terra Incognita: Mapping a Regional Design History in South Africa

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

The paper will start by discussing some aspects of the state of History of Graphic Design. These will include approaches to teaching the subject, the place of research at Technikons, and then, particularly, the question of African content in the discipline. This will refer to historical rather than contemporary material.

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