Futures of Design Education: Riding the New Wave

The 17th Futures of Design Education discussion featured some of the Manchester Metropolitan University team talking about their experiences during emergency pandemic teaching, arguing that we are still Riding the New Wave. Jon, Sarah and Peter shared examples of their online, blended and hybrid studio spaces, posing a series of critical questions for all design educators as we transition to post-pandemic teaching.

Riding the New Wave: opportunities for innovation in design studio pedagogy

As the majority of UK HE institutions implemented a return to campus based delivery from Sept 2021 it was clear that some of the pragmatic approaches to teaching adopted through necessity over the previous two years due to covid19 restrictions held lasting value beyond crisis modes of teaching. Covid19 disrupted many established norms of design pedagogy, with the loss of the design studio as a focal point for engagement and learning on campus being a central challenge faced by many tutors.

As a signature pedagogy of design education, the studio provided an environment for mediated, sticky, social and habitual exchanges in supporting students learning. However, delivering teaching through an enforced period of separation from those environments proved that through adversity can come new insights. In this discussion we will reflect upon how the disruption to our established practices revealed a new wave of opportunities to consider in the development of what we knew as the design studio.

Futures of Design Education is a discussion series organised by the Design Research Society’s Education SIG. The series aims to raise awareness of the plurality of possible futures represented by our members and the wider design education community.

Anyone interested in design education is welcome to join these events. If anyone has any ideas for future presenters or topics then email derek.jone@open.ac.uk

You can find recordings of all past events here.

Published by Derek Jones

Derek Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Design at The Open University (UK), part of the OU Design Group, and the Convenor of the DRS Pedagogy SIG. His main research interests are: the pedagogy of design and creativity, embodied cognition in physical and virtual environments, and theories of design knowledge.

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