International Journal of Art & Design Education

Art, Design & Technology – a plea to reclaim the senses

Volume 21.2   2002



The paper explores the inherent confusion surrounding the existence of design in two foundation areas of the National Curriculum. We argue that this is a consequence of a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of art, design and technology. Whereas technology should be considered as a cross- curricular set of skills and knowledge with a variety of technologies applicable to different subject domains, design more properly belongs to the diffuse subject of art with its range of skills, crafts and cultural knowledge bases.

We argue that design and technology can learn from the expressive and open-ended processes of art making. If the practice of design is to operate effectively in the classroom then it needs to embrace more exploratory strategies to playing and making. Teachers of all age groups need to foster a greater engagement with sensory materials to enable pupils to create a context for the making of personal meanings. The notion of the teacher practitioner is a key component and the studio practice of artist and designers provides a useful framework in the adoption of such approaches.