Writing in Design: Lessons from Lucerne
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Nyffenegger, Franziska Katharina
Section: CREATING SCIENTIFIC AND REFLECTIVE ATTITUDES
This paper examines the use of blogs in the context of a new Swiss MA programme in design. Design students regularly feel ambivalent and openly reluctant about writing assignments. They lack casual writing practice and a process-oriented understanding of the writing act. The installation of an in-class blog intended to break this aversion to writing by regularly assigning tasks on a blog. This approach was tested in the first and second run of the new programme (2008/09 and 2009/10). The results are promising and serve to draw conclusions for best practice. To begin with, this practice-based paper outlines the historical and institutional background of the studied case. It then reviews the role of writing in higher education and particularly in design education. It also pays special attention to problems peculiar to writing education in German-speaking countries. The main part evaluates recent educational experience. It explains how blogs may help to loosen writing reluctance, to support collaborative writing experience, and to strengthen discourse competence. Finally, the design of writing assignments is scrutinised with the aim of developing best practice models.