Liminal moments : designing, thinking and learning
This paper provides a contextual reflection for understanding best practice teaching to first year design students. The outcome (job) focussed approach to higher education has lead to some unanticipated collateral damage for students, and in the case we discuss, has altered the students’ expectations of course delivery with specific implications and challenges for design educators. This tendency in educational delivery systems is further compounded by the distinct characteristics of Generation Y students within a classroom context. It is our belief that foundational design education must focus more on process than outcomes, and through this research with first year design students we analyse and raise questions relative to the curriculum for a Design and Creative Thinking course—in which students not only benefit from learning the theories and processes of design thinking, conceptualisation and creativity, but also are encouraged to see it as an essential tool for their education and development as designers. This study considers the challenges within a design environment; specifically, we address the need for process based learning in contrast to the outcome-focused approach taken by most students. With this approach, students simultaneously learn to be a designer and rethink their approach to “doing design”.
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