International Journal of Art & Design Education

Dyslexia and the Studio: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice

Volume 30.1   2011



It is generally accepted that art and design related disciplines attract a higher proportion of students with dyslexia than traditional academic counterparts. Combined with this is a prevalent perception that dyslexia predominantly affects students’ writing and linguistic ability and it is this, as well as an increased visual-spatial sensibility, that attracts students to art and design disciplines. This article examines these ideas through the experience of fine art students on a degree course with a mandatory written element. Drawing on focus groups and interviews with students, it argues that the studio component, in terms of its learning environment and teaching methods, presents an equally challenging context for students with dyslexia and that the written element or lecture-based studies can provide students with a valuable counterpoint to their studio practice.