Taking on Australian industrial design education: current practice and future directions
There is much international discussion regarding the role of industrial design in a rapidly changing world. Immediate employment needs can lead to a focus on design skills and knowledge needed today. However, we also need to predict the needs of tomorrow, and recognize that industrial design exists in an increasingly complex environment, with increasing demands for cross-professional links and knowledge. Shifts in practice have required design education to restructure, often as add ons and patchwork solutions and more rarely as brand new programs where the old emphasis upon skills is only faintly seen. Different education institutions, programs and practitioners have responded differently to these challenges and diversity proliferates. University educators find themselves in a period of reflection and renewal with competing factors vying for dominance. While there is no single solution, the authors propose a conceptual model that helps explore the strands in the complexity and construct a way forward that privileges clarity and dialogue.