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ICED 11
Papers

Training Students to Critically Assess a Design Rhetoric

Training Students to Critically Assess a Design Rhetoric

Year: 2010

Section: CREATING SCIENTIFIC AND REFLECTIVE ATTITUDES

Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B

Author: Howell, Bryan

Section: CREATING SCIENTIFIC AND REFLECTIVE ATTITUDES

Pages: 550-555

Abstract

yle platitudes that express how the product makes them feel,
such as “that’s so cool.”
This paper proposes a method of teaching students how to critically assess the rhetorical, or
persuasive, nature of design and compose a meaningful, written narrative about it. Students who
embrace this method will consistently and meaningfully move beyond style platitudes when discussing
design. They will begin to communicate the design’s rhetoric.
The assessment method is framed by the product design selection criteria for an exhibit at New York’s
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) which was directed by Paola Antonelli during the winter of 2007/8.
The selection criteria are composed of the following: 1- Form and Meaning, 2- Function and Meaning,
3- Innovation, 4- Cultural Impact, 5- Process, 6- Necessity.
Using examples provided by the MoMA exhibit and from Antonelli’s book Humble Masterpieces,
students research, contemplate, discuss, analyze and write about how designs communicate.
This paper will deconstruct and discuss MoMA’s six design selection criteria. It will show how to use
Antonelli’s framework to help students to intelligently discuss design. It will provide examples of both
MoMA and student writing to demonstrate how the framework is utilized.

Keywords: Design rhetoric, cool, critical, design, MoMA

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ds conferenceE&PDE 2010: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION 2010

E&PDE 2010: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION 2010The 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education will take place 2-3 September 2010, and will be organised by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway in partnership with the Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The conference in 2010 will address the relationship between design education and design research. This year's conference theme, "When...

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Keywords
Design Science Journal