International Journal of Art & Design Education

It’s a Nice Idea, but it’s not actually Real: Assessing the Objects and Activities of Design

Volume 19.1   2000



This paper begins with an overview of the debate between the ideas of ‘art’ and ‘industry’ in design education, and the relationship of this debate to liberal and vocational pedagogic approaches in the education of designers. These debates are investigated with supporting examples drawn from tertiary level design education assessment conversations (known as critiques, or ‘crits’) using techniques drawn from Conversation Analysis. The analysis reveals how expectations and perceptions of design activity are articulated and reproduced within design and design education. In addition, the role of interaction in design education is briefly considered in relationship to ethical issues in design and design education.