International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Metamorphosis of Industrial Designers from Novices to Experts (pages 140–153)

Volume 35.1   2016



Professional training for designers is crucial in the field of design studies. The characteristics of novices versus those of expert designers have been identified in the literature; however, studies exploring the issue of professional training processes in the actual workplace are not well developed. Our study addresses the topic by using qualitative research methods along with flexible design. Collected data from the interviewees with different work experience were analysed by open, axial and selective coding. Herein, we argue that the processes by which a designer transforms from a novice into an expert in the industry are constructed through the interaction of several complicated factors. The re-learning inherent in design professions is implemented through knowledge transfer gained from participation in design projects, particularly regarding tacit knowledge. Also, the novice's process of learning and training yields the characteristics and skills that companies and firms require of designers; this process involves a series of disciplinary sub-processes, from destructive to reconstructive, implemented by employers. In these sub-processes, the subjectivity of designers is neglected, leading to the suppression of imaginative expression and feelings of alienation among these workers.