Towards an internationalised product design curriculum
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Loy, Jennifer; Welch, Donald
Institution: Griffith University, Australia
Section: Innovation in Teaching
Students starting their Product Design studies in Australia next year will be graduating into a very internationalised profession. Production has moved increasingly off shore, markets are increasingly global and collaborations are increasingly made across country boundaries. Higher Education programs have been responding slowly to these changes but a more fundamental shift in thinking is needed to redesign Product Design education for the realities of the new environment for Australian design graduates. Internationalisation of the curriculum cannot be limited to including examples of designs from other countries and giving students opportunities to take part in projects abroad, it needs to be extended so that students understand cultural difference. Understanding the reasons behind production values and behaviours in different cultures needs to be overt in the Australian Product Design curriculum, providing strategies for graduates joining companies that are finding themselves increasingly dependent on international relationships. Using the relationship of Australia with China as an example, this paper discusses the issues for Australian Product Design educators in identifying and exploring the culture based attitudes, design values and behaviours that students bring to design and those of the design and production partners they will potentially work with during their design career.