Sunday, 1 April 2012

design education

Design education has been in schools around our world for about 25 years. In the UK and Australia it emerged during the late 1980's having emerged from the post war disciplines industrial arts, metalwork, woodwork and technical drawing, and "shop" based activities in the US. During this quarter century it has struggled to find the recognition it deserves, it is not considered to be an art or a science, and this is right, although it may contain many attributes of these disciplines (something to investigate and unravel I feel) and consequently it has acquired the label of one of those " non"academic subjects.

All too often the teaching and learning philosophy is based around a post industrial model, master and apprentice, and really hasn't connected or kept pace with the pedagogical evolution of the early part of this 21st century, never mind the reality of what might be described as "real design".

Why is this the case, why the disconnect between what real designers "think and do", when the most creative, imaginative and innovative companies and design studios have world wide recognition, public admiration, and desirability? To design and make things is the right approach, but is the design thinking right, is the design language right, and are the products as a result right?