Shifting from Practice to Research in Design Education: An Experiment within the Framework of an MA Course

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Usenyuk, Svetlana; Garin, Nickolay
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland; 2: Ural State Academy of Architecture and Art, Department of Industrial Design, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation
Section: New Design Education Paradigms
Page(s): 399-404
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Whilst experiencing a paradigmatic shift towards critical, conceptual, immaterial domain, the design discipline still demonstrates an essential gap between practice and research. The need for developing educational methods that can positively influence students and help them cope with the uncertainty of the research/practice dichotomy in the design profession is ever-present in design education. The paper aims to contribute to the development of a new design education paradigm by suggesting an experimental ‘Artistic Reading’ assignment for first-year MA students. This experiment is based on the hermeneutical approach. Hermeneutics, as the ‘art of interpretation’, may be applied to the entire design educational process. Because symbols imply both ‘forms’ and ‘words’, the hermeneutical methodology provides a universal toolkit for the cognition of objects of different types. The authors argue that hermeneutics can be used to enable students’ research activity.

Keywords: Design education, hermeneutics, experiment


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