Democratising graphic design: the role of human-centred practice within communication design projects



Media & Communications Design


  • human-centred design, social learning, collaboration

The paper reports on a number of human-­‐centred design projects completed as part of the  undergraduate  graphic design programme at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). The value of projects rooted  in participatory design practice and social responsibility is discussed in the context of the  multidisciplinary nature of graphic design and the opportunity provided by the Higher Education  Qualification Framework (HEQF) to re-­‐ design existing programmes at Higher Education Institutions  (HEIs) in South Africa.

Upon reflection, the project findings indicate that the process allowed  students to produce visual design outcomes which had value in terms of design as well as community  engagement. However, to ensure success design students must be cognizant of well-­‐structured  design research methodologies that contribute to appropriate solutions in meeting societal goals.

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