International Journal of Art & Design Education

Human-Centred Design Projects and Co-Design in/outside the Turkish Classroom: Responses and Challenges (pages 358–368)

Volume 34.3   2015



Perhaps more than any other professional group in modern history, designers have felt compelled to undertake the responsibility of addressing and engaging with societal problems in their practice. Initially, this liability involved concerns of form and production methods during the industrial revolution era, and developed into existential, ethical and context-specific (Western) priorities of working and living during the twentieth century. Today, citizenship by design involves efforts that are directed towards creating social change for and with the audience. Drawn from empirical research, this article presents the challenges met and lessons learnt when introducing human-centred design practices to Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design) students in Turkey. As a self-reflexive study, it draws from students' reception and feedback on a studio project on social awareness, accessibility and authority sharing with visually impaired people, and an applied workshop on the benefit of user collaboration in design. It aims to raise questions of relevance and assimilation of a socially oriented design practice in a non-Western, commerce-driven economy at the urge of modernisation. Moreover, acknowledging the strong element of conformity with peer members in Turkish society (such as the government, family and teachers), this work also aims to examine hierarchy-challenging design practice in and outside the Turkish classroom.