Bombs Away: visual thinking and students’ engagement in design studios contexts

Chamorro-Koc, Marianella, Scott, Andrew, & Coombs, Gretchen (2014) Bombs Away: visual thinking and students’ engagement in design studios contexts. In Niedderer, Kristina & Lim, Youn-kyung (Eds.) Design's Big Debates Pushing the Boundaries of Design Research, Design Research Society, Umea, Sweden, pp. 1122-1134.

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In design studio, sketching or visual thinking is part of processes that assist students to achieve final design solutions. At QUT’s First and Third Year industrial design studio classes we engage in a variety of teaching pedagogies from which we identify ‘Concept Bombs’ as an instrumental in the development of students’ visual thinking and reflective design process, and also as a vehicle to foster positive student engagement. Our ‘formula’: Concept Bombs are 20 minute design tasks focusing on rapid development of initial concept designs and free-hand sketching. Our experience and surveys tell us that students value intensive studio activities especially when combined with timely assessment and feedback. While conventional longer-duration design projects are essential for allowing students to engage with the full depth and complexity of the design process, short and intensive design activities introduce variety to the learning experience and enhance student engagement. This paper presents a comparative analysis of First and Third Year students’ Concept Bomb sketches to describe the types of design knowledge embedded in them, a discussion of limitations and opportunities of this pedagogical technique, as well as considerations for future development of studio based tasks of this kind as design pedagogies in the midst of current university education trends.

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ID Code: 74719
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Design sketches, Visual thinking, Design studio, Student engagement, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Industrial Design (120305)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Design Research Society
Deposited On: 05 Aug 2014 01:10
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2014 23:54

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