The making of a journey-identifying new design approaches in contemporary art

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Sjovoll, Vibeke; Gulden, Tore
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science, Norway
Section: Reflections on Creativity
Page(s): 472-477
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


This article explores how approaches identified in contemporary art can offer new perspectives in design education. The inquiry is done by involving product design students in such approaches through the designing of new products out of the existing IKEA merchandises; stool “ODDVAR” and box ”PRÄNT”, followed by interviews, common evaluations and discussions concerning how the approach influences the way they think about their practice in the future. The creative technique “The making of a journey” (TMJ) emerged by context mapping of the art project “Blueboatblack” (BBB), by the artist Simon Starling (1997) which involves processes of emancipation from aesthetics and materials. This in turn led to the research question; how can the creative technique Deconstruction of a found object facilitate critical thinking in design education? Working with the TMJ forced the deconstruction of an existing product upon the students and triggered product investigations about construction, material, functionality, usefulness, value, economics, sustainability and aesthetics. We identified that in some cases the project facilitated both a critical and unsentimental attitude towards the object itself. Such reactions elicited by the TMJ can contribute to knowledge transfer within education and industry through possible questioning of meaning and conventions- dimensions important for radical design processes. Furthermore the autonomous dimensions of the project led the students to define the project goal themselves toward products that were rooted in personal interests, inspiration and life experience. Products seemingly without any function emerged such as wooden carpet made with the goal to give an impression of plywood having textile characteristics.

Keywords: Art approaches, found object, creative technique


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