Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
6.b 3/4: Design Literacy enabling Critical Innovation Practices
Thursday, 20/Jun/2019:
2:00pm - 3:40pm

Session Chair: Liv Merete Nielsen
Session Chair: Catalina Cortés
Location: LDN.102
1st floor Loughborough University London 60 capacity

Session Abstract

Design Literacy can be regarded as a catalyst for a move towards a better citizens participation in innovative design processes. By educating the general public to become design literate, there is a chance to support critical innovation and a possible move towards sustainable societies (Stegall, 2006). The challenge is to articulate content, performance and continuity for a critical decision-making process and how this influence critical innovation and design education at large.

The concept ‘Design Literacy’ addresses the complex matter of objectives, content and practices in design processes and education. Research on multiple literacies has evoked considerable debate and redefinition within several areas of educational research (Coiro et al. 2008); the understanding of literacy is no longer bound to the ability to read and write verbal text or numeracy. Design Literacy (Nielsen and Brænne, 2013) are among newly coined literacies. Design Literacy is connected both to the creation and understanding of design innovation in a broad sense. In today’s mostly artificial world, the Design Literacy is regarded as a competence not only for the professional designer, but also for the general public in their position as citizens, consumers, users and decision makers in innovative processes.

Designed artefacts and services influence our lives and values, both from personal and societal perspectives. Designers, decision makers and investors hold different positions in the design process, but they all make choices that will influence new innovations and our future. In order to solve crucial global challenges, designers and investors must cooperate; for this purpose, we argue that design literacy is necessary for all. We argue that the Design Literacies can support practices associated with innovation, democratic participation in design processes, developing and enacting ethical responsibilities, and understanding and supporting sustainable aspects of production and consumption.

The track call for researchers to explore the following points:

  • How development of Design Literacy can support critical innovation and sustainable issues
  • Progressions in scaffolding Design Literacies from a pre-school to a university level
  • The potential of Design Literacy to support collaborative and experimental approaches of projects between: investors/designers, general public/designers, children/designers
  • How design education for the general public can represent both a foundation for professional design education and a prequalification for lay persons’ competence for decision-making and critical innovation
  • How might Design Literacy influence sustainability issues in society?
  • What are the challenges of professional design, when everyone wants to design?

Research addressing above points will be useful to promote critical innovation and to inform policy and educational implementation. The importance lies in the needs to better inform design education itself, to improve the approach of design educators, and to educate reflective citizens, policy makers, entrepreneurships and consumers in perspective of critical innovation.

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2:00pm - 2:25pm

Adaptive digital capability development: Professional learning for educators across disciplines

J. Fiona Peterson1, Cathy Lockhart2, Catherine Raffaele2

1Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand; 2University of Technology Sydney, Australia

In a cross-university project, a mixed methods approach was adopted to design a learning model for digital work practices in line with evolving industry needs. Drawing upon industry input (n=50), developmental learning and technology affordance theory, a model was trialled with Design, Journalism and Engineering students (n=78). Workshops were held at five universities with educators (n=66) and this paper discusses their perspectives on the model. Their responses indicated a predominantly functional digital capability focus in their current learning and teaching practice; rather than integrating functional, perceptual and adaptive digital capabilities, in high demand but short supply in industry. The educators highlighted a need for their own professional learning. We offer practical suggestions for moving beyond a functional digital focus and argue that it is vital for students and educators to learn and use the vocabulary of technology affordances, to strengthen professional learning for digital work futures.

Track 6.b-Adaptive digital capability development-237Peterson_a.pdf

2:25pm - 2:50pm

Democratizing Design: Can Higher Education Survive?

Rebecca Kelly

Syracuse University: VPA, School of Design, United States of America

The tools and techniques of graphic design have become accessible to the public at large to such a degree that the profession itself may be threatened with extinction. At the same time, design literacy — the knowledge and reasoning beyond the use of those techniques — does not seem to be experiencing the same widespread dissemination. In order to re-establish its value, the design profession must introduce a higher level of insight beyond the mere the decoration of artefacts – an ability to understand “big picture” concepts and to work across disciplines to become involved in every step of a project, from concept to completion. Thus, U.S. undergraduate design education must change as well. Educators must be innovative in order to prepare a new generation to evolve quickly and continuously. Programs must be fluid and adaptable, which requires educators to treat their curricula as design problems, to be solved with radical thinking and creativity.

Track 6.b-Democratizing Design-402Kelly_a.pdf

2:50pm - 3:15pm

Design Thinking Mindset: Developing Creative Confidence

Lars Groeger1,2, Jochen Schweitzer3, Leanne Sobel3, Bridget Malcolm3

1MGSM, Macquarie University, Australia; 2RWTH Aachen University, Germany; 3University of Technology Sydney, Australia

While knowledge of design thinking (DT) processes and familiarity with its tools can be achieved relatively quickly, few educational programs foster a DT mindset. This study examines the effect of an experiential DT learning environment on the development of a DT mindset. We analyse the extent to which key attributes of a DT mindset are understood, evaluated and assessed. We show that the general value and related challenges of learning a DT mindset are well understood. However, students perceive the importance and value of particular mindset attributes differently; in particular, postgraduate student reflections provide a nuanced and interlinked view of different mindset attributes. We provide a framework for learning objectives and exemplary activities to teach and encourage designerly ways of thinking and doing in business education. We argue that a mindset that embodies DT can address deficits in business school education, better preparing students for future work.

Track 6.b-Design Thinking Mindset-288Groeger_a.pdf

3:15pm - 3:40pm

Stressors and creativity in Industrial Design practice

John Richard McCardle, Samuel Dempsey, Max Humberstone

Loughborough Design School, United Kingdom

Current literature suggests that stress influences creativity, however further research is required concerning this relationship with a focus on education. Current views are clearly divided on whether any negative effects on creativity are more dictated by environmental stressors or the reactions of individuals whilst under stress. For this study, participants completed a questionnaire comprising of a perceived stress scale and thematic questions, to give an indication of whether they were more influenced by environmental stressors or their individual reactions to stress. Two Torrance tests of creativity were conducted to assess creativity over a two-week period as time pressures increased. The results suggested that participants who identified as being more affected by their own negative reactions to stress displayed a lower calibre of creativity when time-pressure increased, whereas the participants who were suggested to be more influenced by their environment remained at a relatively constant perceived level of creativity.

Track 6.b-Stressors and creativity in Industrial Design practice-392McCardle_a.pdf

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