IS GLOBALISED DESIGN EDUCATION KILLING DESIGN VARIETY?
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Hall, Ashley
Institution: Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design Education
Design is an agent of globalization affecting socio-cultural evolution through technology impact, and in return, globalization is generating new demands and forces that shape both design and design education. This paper combines two earlier pieces of research on ubiquitous tendencies in industrial design and designing creative destruction to explore a question concerning the creeping ubiquitisation of products designed for the global mass market and asks whether design education is partly to blame. Through academic conferences and other collaboration formats we often exchange best practices and take on-board new creative design education methods that could be observed as producing increasingly similar design outputs from institutions around the world. Evidence supporting this view is considered alongside other broader factors that may reduce diversity including commercial marketing and funding strategies, limited software design platforms and production technologies are discussed in the context of design education. Furthermore, it is proposed that the diversity and variety of industrial design courses is narrowing and suggests that this can lead to a crisis in the amount of variety in our creative ecosystems when faced with the future global design challenges of the Anthropocene. The research concludes by suggesting that more attention is needed for two central aspects of future design education: understanding more clearly how we can use collaboration to share good practice and how can we diversify the training of designers to generate more difference to support the creative destruction necessary for resilient societies that are able to cope with future change.