Exploring Principles of Grammatical Design in Higher Education

By Dean Bruton.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reveals the grounded results of the use of grammatical design as a foundation for study in a Masters of Design in Digital Media course. It builds on the strengths of a grammatical metaphor by offering a continuum of understanding of the nature and use of ‘rules’ that includes models, schemas and serialist approaches to form making. This continuum refers to two extremes of strict formal grammar and schematic ideas enveloping an hermeneutical understanding of design as explored in recent interaction design research (Amitani 2008). After Strawson (Strawson 1950), in any research endeavour one might move towards a quantifiable or qualitative extreme throughout the process depending on contingencies as explored in recent work on design pedagogy and higher education. As Rivka Oxman states “Any approach at a new pedagogy predicated on new forms of digital design thinking must necessarily move beyond the formal syndrome of representation, formal language and compositional collage aesthetics” (R. Oxman 2008).

Keywords: Grammatical Design Principles Art Architecture Higher Education

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.457-472. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.867MB).

Dr. Dean Bruton

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture , Urban Design, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Dr. Dean Bruton is academic and postgraduate coordinator responsible for developing the Master of Design in Digital Media Program in the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at The University of Adelaide. The program uses a ‘grammatical lens’ to bring together an exciting new collaborative interdisciplinary approach to the pedagogy and practice of art and design with digital media. His specialist research interests include various aspects of digital media production such as 3D animation for visualisation, online interactives and computer game development. Dr. Bruton encourages national and international industry-education collaboration as Associate Head International (Architecture), Faculty IT Coordinator, Chair of ACM SIGGRAPH Adelaide Chapter, Treasurer of ANZGRAPH and research member of the Australian Centre for Visual Technology. Recent Publication: Bruton, D. (2007). Fusing Horizons: A Grammatical Design Approach for the Arts and Humanities: using rules, contingency and hermeneutics in design education. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 6(3): 309-327.


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