International Journal of Art & Design Education

2013 - Volume 32: Number 2

A Chaotic Intervention: Creativity and Peer Learning in Design Education

Budge, Kylie, Beale, Claire, Lynas, Emma

Peer feedback and critique is integral to the creative practice of studio-based textile designers. In a creative learning context, how do students perceive the role of peer feedback and critique? What conditions do students identify as being important to stimulating creativity in a collaborative peer feedback and critique-driven learning environment ?

This article highlights research conducting in one undergraduate textile design programme of an urban Australian university based on small-scale designed learning intervention. Our study set out to explore: (1) what students thought about creativity; (2) the conditions which supported its development; and (3) the role of peer learning and critique in the learning experience of design students in a studio-based environment. Qualitative data were collected from students about their views on creativity, peer learning and the intersection of these two areas both prior to and after the intervention. Staff observations and reflections were also explored. Findings include an increased awareness of the role of peer learning in the creative process for the majority of students. For staff, important revelations unfolded about the role of the group in peer learning and critiques, the elusive nature of creativity itself, the inherent nature of creative disciplines, and the importance of particular physical and mental environment(s) in creative studio-based learning and teaching.

This study highlighted that studio-based learning environments (involving peer feedback and critique as a critical component of the creative process) need to consider the group dynamic at play and carefully design learning interventions accordingly.

The Elements and Principles of Design: A Baseline Study

Adams, Erin

Critical to the discipline, both professionally and academically, are the fundamentals of interior design. These fundamentals include the elements and principles of interior design: the commonly accepted tools and vocabulary used to create and communicate successful interior environments. Research indicates a lack of consistency in both the identification of what constitutes the elements and principles of design and the specific definitions for each of them. Elements and principles of design vary from textbook to textbook, and this lack of consistency must be addressed when creating a single cohesive interior design vocabulary. This research study sought to gather fundamental information pertaining to the elements and principles of design, such as types of class formats being employed, foundational text books utilised, and within each curriculum where the elements and principles were being introduced  in CIDA-accredited interior design programmes. Furthermore, this study assessed the attitudes and perceptions of interior design educators concerning the elements and principles of interior design. The elements and principles of interior design are an integral part of design students' education and will contribute substantially to their skill set in the professional realm. For this reason, it is important that the design elements and principles are taught in a consistent manner, substance and applications.

Professional Capabilities for Twenty-First Century Creative Careers: Lessons from Outstandingly Successful Australian Artists and Designers.

Bridgstock, Ruth

Artists and designers are positioning at the centre of the twenty-first century creative economy. In order to recognise and make the most of opportunities afforded by this new era, artists and designers still require the creativity.disciplinary depth of knowledge and technical skills traditionally possessed by professionals in these fields - skills which are a core strength of higher and further art and design education. However, they may also require a range of other 'twenty-first century' creative capabilities which are harder to define, to teach for and assess, and are not the focus of traditional art and design pedagogies. This article draws upon the findings of nine in-depth interviews with award-winning Australian artists and designers about their careers and working practices, along with recent international research about the characteristics of the twenty-first century creative career, in order to highlight the importance of certain professional capabilities for art and design. It discusses the implications of these findings for art and design educators in universities and curricular and pedagogic considerations associated with embedded these capabilities into undergraduate courses.


Hands On, Hearts On, Minds On: Design Thinking within an Educational Context

Cassim, Fatima 

Today the changing nature of design practice and the role of design within a widening domain indicate that the survival of design as a profession may depend less of traditional design education and more on responding strategically to contemporary changes, influenced by ethical and environmental issues as well as technological advancements. As a result, one of the challenges facing contemporary design educators today is how to prepare and educate design students in light of the expanding  and shifting definitions of the profession as well as changes in social responsibilities. To this end, the article explores the nature of the design process by presenting a model of designing. Following from this, the inherent characteristics of design thinking are identified before discussing the application of design thinking within an education context. Reference is made to the lil' green box, a social innovation project by a final year Information Design students from the University of Pretoria. The scope of the article is limited and therefore only a single case study is presented. Nonetheless, the main argument that emerges from the case study is that in order to advance design research, focus must be placed on the design ( problem solving) methodologies that are taught and subsequently employed by students as part of their design training .

Assessment as a Barrier in Developing Design Expertise: Interior Design Student Perceptions of Meanings and Sources of Grades

Smith, Kennon M,

This article reports on a portion of a larger qualitative study focused on a group of interior design students' perceptions of their educational experiences. Twelve interior design students enrolled in their final studio course participated in interviews intended to elicit their perceptions of key barriers encountered during their undergraduate design school experience. Among students' perceived barriers to learning, studio project grades figured so prominently that they are the focus of this article. Interviews were transcribed, coded and analysed using a constant comparative approach. Themes were developed to describe the students' conceptions of meanings and sources of grades. Interactions among main themes are examined and implications for future research are addressed.

Designing Student Citizenship: Internationalised Education in Transformative Disciplines 

Mendoza, Rose, Hannah

Matyok, Tom

Design is a transformative, socially engaged practice and design education must provide a platform from which that practice can grow. Education plays a vital role in preparing design students to move beyond a purely reactive state to one in which they are actively engaged in shaping the world around them. Such a shift is built upon the provision of a holistic education that invites interaction with the concepts of democracy, engagements and empathy at the global scale. At a time when our graduates need to be prepared for global citizenship and design without borders, higher education has moved sharply toward discipline specific training and job preparation and away from liberal education and the development of critical thinking abilities. 

The internationalism of education in design disciplines is reliant upon the formation of deep connections that are an  embedded part of a student's larger academic career, rather than an isolated opportunity. Rather than focus on 'exposure', the internationalised education that design students need includes deep immersion and diverse contact in order to transform the study abroad tour into a layer of embedded experience rather than an artificial veneer. As students develop relationships with students from other cultures and experience the richness of others, they explore their own knowledges, values and assumptions. While all design graduates will live and work in a global environment, not all students are able to study abroad. Therefore, alternative opportunities for internationalising the curriculum must be explored.

The Prefabricated Interior Design Studio: An Exploration into History and Sustainability of Interior Prefabrication

Schneiderman, Deborah

Freihoefer, Kara

This article examines the integration of prefabrication into an interior design studio. A review of the literature revealed that while there is a paucity of categorical research focused on this subject, the subject is historically significant with an abundance of evidence regarding the prefabrication of the interior environment dating about thousands of years. The studio began with a research report, which uncovered a lack of specific topical historical evidence correlating prefabrication with interior design. Next, a series of lectures defined the topic 'Prefabricated Interior Design' and introduced sustainable strategies  in prefabrication. Finally, students were instructed to create and assemble three separate prefabricated design studies. At the end of the instructional semester students questioned about their education, attitudes, and professional objectives toward Prefabricated Interior Design is 'unrepresented' in historical content and professional practice. The survey also revealed that students' initial awareness of prefabrication in interior design is weak, however, with the implementation of the topic into a studio-based course their attitudes and perceptions towards prefabrication heightened.