University of Johannesburg

UJ is a vibrant and cosmopolitan university, anchored in Africa and driven by a powerful strategy focused on attaining global excellence and stature. With an emphasis on independent thinking, sustainable development and multiple partnerships, UJ is an international university of choice. The University is guided by the Vice-Chancellor’s vision of “Positioning UJ in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) within the context of the changing social, political and economic fortunes of Africa.” In the context of FADA, this is framed in terms of ‘Society 4.0’ which recognises the dynamic potential of a multi-disciplinary, creative environment in finding socially responsible, creative solutions to the challenges of our time.

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at University of Johannesburg offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, expanding these fields beyond their traditional boundaries through internal and external collaborations. It has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education. Equipped with state-of-the art, custom-built facilities, the Faculty is staffed by highly regarded academics, artists and designers.

The Faculty is home to approximately 1 300 students who study and work in the custom-built FADA Building on the Bunting Road Campus. 

Many of our graduates are employed in South Africa or internationally in diverse areas of industry, or work as freelance designers, architects or independent artists. Whatever their preference, they have been properly prepared as professionals through creative and entrepreneurial development, which are key factors in the programmes offered.

Problem placement in fashion design practice: Reflections and recommendations for fashion design education in an era of complexity

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper identifies the desired design outcomes and problem domains of experienced Johannesburg fashion designers, to provide recommendations for fashion design practice and education. Traditional fashion design education often emphasises aesthetics and technical construction before strategically deciding on where the design effort needs to be focused within complex integrated systems. However, within the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), complex integrated systemic thinking is becoming increasingly important. As such, this paper provides an overview of the design outcomes of practising fashion designers and explores the correlation between the problems they manage and Buchanan’s (1998) seminal proposition of problem framing and placement domains.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

Learning from a distance: A conceptual teaching framework that supports positive emotions and novelty during independent fashion design processes

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

The importance of cultivating a creative mindset in fashion design students to eventually thrive in the rapidly changing work environment that demands novelty in design is becoming increasingly relevant from an educational perspective. In addition, the challenges to enhance creative design processes of students have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which caused a sudden transformation from traditional contact education, to online and later blended learning. This implies that educators are challenged to re-think traditional strategies of teaching creativity to align to the shifting conditions.

A systemic framing of the challenges faced in design education during the COVID-19 lockdown

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Discipline: 

Software, UX & Game Design

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep cracks of inequality within the South African educational system (Gustafsson & Deliwe, 2020). The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has presented a range of new technology applications (Lacy, Long, & Spindler, 2020). These technologies can be leveraged to provide more equal access to the technology needed for remote learning (Du Preez & Sinha, 2020). This paper uses a systemic design approach to reflect on the challenges faced in design education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student feedback on the online learning experience during the COVID-19 lockdown was reflected on. Observations were organised in themes and then explored using the first step of Namahn and shiftN’s Systemic Design Toolkit (Van Ael & Vandenbroeck, 2016).

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

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Discipline: 

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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Discipline: 

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.

Masking-up with 4IR fashion design education: A retrospective analysis

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

For decades, studio-based pedagogy, grounded in socially-engaged, constructivist learning spaces dominated design education (Crowther 2013; Shreeve, 2015). However, the global pandemic forced design education to align with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and move towards interactive digital technologies and online teaching and learning methodologies. Positioned in the space of 4IR, the move to digital technologies is required to digitally streamline and integrate human-centred opportunities for inclusivity guided by technological advancements (Chuo 2019, pp. 107).

Digital design ethics

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Discipline: 

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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Discipline: 

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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Discipline: 

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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Discipline: 

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.

Lost connection: Reflections on online jewellery design teaching

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

In this paper, four educators teaching undergraduate jewellery design and manufacture recount our adaptations to online learning during the COVID19 lockdown, and how this impacted our ideas about lecture content and delivery. We look at the possibilities for online study in jewellery design in relation to the developments of the fourth industrial revolution, such as blended learning, simulations and computer-aided design and manufacture. We share adaptations that may serve educators in distance or blended learning scenarios. However, the lockdown created difficult learning circumstances in South Africa in which we often ‘lost connection’ due to high data costs and inequalities in students’ living conditions.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

‘Research Practice’ as Design Informant

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

Rapid and ongoing global changes are forcing educators to consider how students can be supported to navigate these events successfully. Reports from the World Economic Forum (WEF 2018) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2018) highlight the need for developing learner and worker agency and for embedding curricula with projects that develop problem-solving skills; enable deep thinking and reflection; and focus on transferable skills, knowledge, attitudes and values. There is an ever-increasing need for knowledge-based practice in the design industry, and the value of design research in addressing cross-disciplinary challenges has been noted by several government agencies.

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

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Discipline: 

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.

‘The Pretty Stuff’: Gender bias and the future of design knowledge in the South African industrial design context

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

In the era of the fourth industrial revolution that proposes an increasingly automated future, designers need not lose focus on the discipline’s important role in social design and innovation. Such an undertaking becomes difficult when the discipline of design itself has inbuilt biases and inequalities. Gender bias is one such prejudice that design educators and researchers need to become more aware of and engage with, not only to prepare our students for the workplace but also to begin to change the patriarchal dominance of the design industry and hence the equity of the discipline itself.

Design-Based Research: Bridging the gap between fashion design education and research on design

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Discipline: 

Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Traditionally, design-based research (DBR) unifies research, design and evaluation of interventions aimed at improving educational practice. Shifts elucidate DBR as a novelty to bridge the gap between knowledge generated from research with that of design practice. DBR, therefore, locates itself in both educational and design practice contexts. This paper considers DBR in the educational context hence aimed at the affordance for improving fashion design educational practice. The DBR phases in educational disciplines may well act as guidelines to develop scholarship around research on and through design.

Writing-up Research Through Design: An approach to research report writing in early level postgraduate education

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

In Christopher’s Frayling’s seminal account of design-orientated research, he lists research for design, research through design and research about design as the primary modes of research in the field of design. At least since Frayling termed these concepts in 1993, design educators globally have grappled with supervising research through design. While there are many accounts of research through design, few provide clear theory as to how the approach may be applied, least of all in design education. In the field of human-computer interaction, Zimmerman et al.

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

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Discipline: 

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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