Finding Best Practices Within Education

THE STUDENT AND THE TEACHING AS THE STARTING POINT FOR NEW DIRECTIONS
Author:
Thomas Degn / Iris Ridder
Company/School:
Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University / Dalarna University

Thomas Degn / Iris Ridder
Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University / Dalarna University

INTRODUCTION

Vocation-focused design education should ideally aim at foreseeing the challenges and opportunities society and industry face, and act accordingly to these needs. Some of the obvious questions are: what should the next generation of designers be able to do, and how should they do it? Or to phrase it from an academic point of view what should they learn, and how should we teach it? In order to answer these questions, we first need to fully understand what makes present education and teaching successful and how it is structured and pedagogically organised, before a next step can be taken. This paper will show case studies from a small international masters education in industrial design that only enrol approximately 20 students annually. Despite its small size, it has ensured that the design institute it belongs to is presently positioned in the top of the ranking lists for the most awarded design schools in the world, from three different design competitions representing Europe, Asia, and North America.

STRUCTURE AND PROCESS-BASED DESIGN

Most design schools provide education that combines teaching of various tools and methods and how to use these to achieve a specific goal. This paper builds upon the definition and division of “structure and process-based” teaching (Lundmark 1998, 39) and links structure to practical tools, and process to creative methods. Examples of structure-based studies within design education include tool-intensive teaching, like training in using machines in a wood or metal workshop, or software teaching in 2D and 3D software. Structure-based studies involve subjects where the students are taught specific rules and guidelines on how it should be done, either for safety reasons or limitations in the physical or digital tools capacity...read more.