Re-storying design research: A case study in the context of postgraduate studies



Graphic Design & Visual Art

In the recent five years, the predominant approach followed in the context of postgraduate research in the field of design at Stellenbosch University (SU) has been practice-led. This reflects the Visual Arts Department’s integrated, process-oriented philosophy of design. We regard design as an inherently relational practice that connects people, things, places, and ideas, among others. Through the integrated and applied use of multiple media formats. We do not focus solely on the outcome of our practice but are rather interested in using our practice to work towards a more just and sustainable future for all.

Dismantling boundaries: Does a transdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary tertiary education approach support the development of creative and critical thinking for an Afrikan design and business context?



Design Education Strategy

In this paper, we examine the impact that transdisciplinary and/or multi-disciplinary educational approaches have in developing critical and creative thinking competencies in a bachelor’s degree context. Strategies relating to integrated assessments within research-based modules are used to explore how transcending disciplinary boundaries in different fields are approached – one a business qualification and the other a creative/design-based qualification. This is also particularly significant in terms of an emerging call to contextualise curricula for Afrika, including adopting more decolonised transdisciplinary research approaches.

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. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (