Strategies in design education integrating theory and practice to facilitate remote Indigenous participation in higher education

Stuart Gluth

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    This paper will address the opportunities and possibilities for changes in design education to meet the changing role of designers in industry and more broadly in society, now, and more certainly, in the future. It will argue that an important requirement is for the integration of design history, knowledge and research with design practice.

    Most significantly, it sets out how this approach may generate effective pathways for engaging indigenous students with university design education, which they currently don't see as part of their cultural expectations.

    This paper outlines a strategy that the author has developed for the successful integration of design history and 'theory' with design practice, which he demonstrates has been most successful with a broad range of students. That approach is based on reading, investigation and research as the basis for design decision making. Therefore it can be seen as much more supportive of design ways of working, and it establishes positive attitudes to research by using assessment approaches that reflect the way designers will be expected to perform in their professional lives, rather than academic criteria.

    Many designers and business leaders, have strongly advocated the value to business and industry of 'design thinking', while others point out that design goes beyond the 'mere' economic or commercial advantages implied in this approach which, however, disregards the cultural significance design affords. Further, such an approach which provides a more culturally focused knowledge of the potential for design principles would have an obvious attraction to Australian indigenous from remote communities to university education in design. The integrated process described above might prove to be really appropriate for indigenous students to adapt by drawing on their own visual culture, aesthetics and spiritual and visual relationship to their own country, to analyse and document, as a basis for their own visual decision making. One approach might be in designing graphic novels to impart their own peoples' stories and law for a disengaged generation.

    This paper sets out how pathways through recontextualized vocational education to higher education might be more effective in engaging them, as a less stultifying approach to research and analysis taking into account their own immensely powerful visual literacy, aesthetic and cultural knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICERI2016 Proceedings
    Subtitle of host publication9th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
    EditorsLG Chova, AL Martinez, IC Torres
    Place of PublicationSpain
    PublisherIATED Academy
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)978-84-617-5895-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event9th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (iCERi) - Seville, Spain
    Duration: 14 Nov 201616 Nov 2016


    Conference9th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (iCERi)


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