«Greg Missingham University of Melbourne DESIGN EDUCATION ALL OVER THE PLACE: On dimensions of design education, the peculiar place of RPDs and ...»
Another Selenitsch observation, in conversation.
Koskinen et al (2011) provide a comprehensive review of research methods used over forty years of RPDs. Methodology and methods for RPDs are paralleled, more or less, by considerations of Process in SDPs.
Mind you, that might not be enough for a PhD in Britain, when it is usually required that the candidate demonstrate a critical understanding of the research method options pertinent to their task rather than only of those actually used (Dunin-Woyseth, 2005, pp. 87-88), presumably a requirement of PhDs considered as research training devices.
Australia Council of University Art and Design Schools conference proceedings, Adelaide, 2015
Satisfying these three criteria is a requirement of the RPD PhD, text and creative work contributing in different ways.
Satisfying the second feature is fundamental to research, contributing new knowledge. Satisfying the third feature might be how we understand that a contribution to knowledge has been made.
Creative works in RPDs are expected to stand well with like genre works outside the research framework. In a RPD, the provocation of design quality might alert the discipline (through its examiner representatives) that the third criterion of creative propositions has been satisfied. Conversely, satisfying these last two features of creative propositions might be what is meant by design quality.23 2 Candidates and Texts RPD PhDs are necessarily discursive, framed in words. For artists and designers focused on nonverbal outcomes, the difficult translation from the nonverbal to text is necessarily metaphoric yet must support the case for the candidate’s achievement.24 Participation in the semantic ecology that is design production requires some rhetorical facility (Krippendorff, 2006).
In Missingham (2010). There are thirty-eight other views of creativity in the same volume. A completely different, ‘deconstructed postmodernist’ view is noted in Ashton (2010, p. 23).
Remember Darby (2010, p. 59).
hesitate to suggest it but an illustrative RDP, in the sense intended in 2., above, might not require great design quality.
Francini (2010, p. 113) notes the anxiety that this caused her.
This transfer occurs both ways multiple times in RDPs where ideas and designing continuously feed off each other.
Australia Council of University Art and Design Schools conference proceedings, Adelaide, 2015 These are measures of the candidate accessed primarily through the text. A question of degree, the second difference between assessment of SDPs and RPDs entails much greater scrutiny of candidates’ demonstrations of their understanding of their achievement.25 Conclusions Design studio might be the commonest form of design education but isn’t the only form. Nor do studio design projects (SDPs) exhaust the instruments of assessment in design education. Assessment of SDPs is multidimensional and a proxy assessment of students, of their capacities as future design professionals. Direct assessment of students commonly occurs in assessing SDPs.
PhDs and Masters design theses RDPs are at the rarified end of design education, framed within a historical tradition of higher learning, positioned within emerging concerns of disciplines, with PhDs assessed in a global context. The embedded creative works have to stand as works within each discipline’s own frameworks of evaluation, but the associated texts have to carry the case for the candidate, demonstrating the candidate’s framing, positioning and evaluation of their achievement. That is, assessment of RDPs is likewise both multidimensional and proxy assessment of candidates, of their capacities as future design academics (and/or professionals).
Both assessments require originality of product. For SDPs, this concerns authorship and some measure of innovation but for RDPs the standard is higher: contribution to knowledge. With SDPs, bonuses for ‘Magic’ might entail something similar, but we don’t usually preserve such outcomes with the same care (although digital archives might do). Some SDPs require emphasis of process. Were this to become more common, lessons might be drawn from how methodology and methods are treated with RDPs. The standard of self-aware argument is also expected to be higher for RDPs over SDPs. Taken together, these issues are about positioning project and self within the stream of precedent, of designs and/or research findings. Perhaps a developing body of knowledge might only begin to accumulate when, as part of their training, pre-professionals are required to develop the requisite habits. A school could emphasise design outcomes based on solid research and evaluate depth, cogency and skill in application of research findings.26 Universities (or countries) with the tradition of verbal defenses of PhDs, viva voce, or inperson presentations provide both the candidate and the assessors an advantage in this respect, stressful though it may be for the former. In those instances, the ‘text’ could be, in principle, entirely oral.
See, for instance, the Domus Academy, Milan, website: http://www.servicedesigntools.org.
The best RDPs at Master’s level are beginning to do exactly this.
Australia Council of University Art and Design Schools conference proceedings, Adelaide, 2015
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