Balancing Design Project Supervision and Learning Facilitation

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Louise M
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Aalborg University, Denmark
Section: Design Education in Practice
Page(s): 225-230


In design there is a long tradition for apprenticeship, as well as tradition for learning through design projects. Today many design educations are positioned within the University context, and have to be aligned with the learning culture and structure, which they represent.
This raises a specific set of demands to the design lecturer. On one hand she is the facilitator of the learning process, where the students are in charge of their own projects, and where learning happens through the students’ own experiences, successes and mistakes and on the other hand she is a supervisor, who uses her experiences and expertise to guide the students’ decisions in relation to the design project.
This paper focuses on project supervision in the context of design education – and more specifically on how this supervision is unfolded in a Problem Based Learning culture.
The paper explores the supervisor’s balance between the roles: 1) Design Project Supervisor – and 2) Learning Facilitator – with the aim to understand when to apply the different roles, and what to be aware of when doing so.
This paper represents the first pilot-study of a larger research effort. It is based on a Lego Serious Play workshop, where both design lecturers and design students participated. The study implies in short that: design project supervision is most requested in the early semesters whereas learning facilitation is requested in the later semesters. Further the study implied a number of focus point for the supervisor to be aware of when applying either of the two roles.

Keywords: Design supervision, problem based learning, lego serious play


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