Creating Confidence in an Alienating Educational Environment
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Loy, Jennifer
Institution: Griffith University, Australia
Section: New Design Education Paradigms
Design education is in transition as content becomes driven by sustainable practice and, most recently, ideas emerging in relation to post-sustainable practice. Over the past two decades design courses around the world have been constantly reviewed and revised to create approaches to design thinking and practice that consider the broadest implications of design on environment and societies with the economic considerations dependent on meeting those imperatives. This has radicalised the content taught at a project level, for example with the introduction of product service systems, and at the level of specifics, such as in relation to material specification. As fundamental in educational terms, design graduate attributes have had to evolve as in order to apply new knowledge and understanding in professional practice graduates have to have a broader understanding of the drivers behind their decisions and become proactive in directing project briefs beyond traditional industry practice. To present a return brief based on sustainable design practices, or more radically to participate in design activism, demands that higher education provides students the opportunities to develop an understanding of the basis for design programs they are part of at a point in time and the leadership role they are expected to take. This involves design education inculcating the confidence through experience of presenting their work and opinion, based on comprehensive understanding of their design philosophy and sustainable practice, or post-sustainable practice strategies in action. This paper summarises the changes and highlights related issues of transferable skills, student recruitment and graduate attributes.