Steve Jobs has said, “Design is the fundamental soul of a man made creation.” (Peters) This view of design, combined with the general agreement that the profession of design is constantly changing (Heller, 1998) means we, as design educators, are preparing students for a future that we cannot define. To create design professionals who will thrive in this evolving profession we must go beyond how we were taught. It is not enough to educate students on the use of the design elements and principles; we must teach them to observe and analyze the visual qualities of environments, think with elasticity, learn to innovate, cause change and practice with an unflinchingly passionate work ethic. But how to do this with a cohort of students who have been taught to the test, who worry about making A’s and finding the right answer? We design; we create projects that systematically utilize observation, random input, metaphorical thinking, hands-on experiences, and conceptual innovation to create, not just designers, but design thinkers. This paper will describe and demonstrate a hierarchical project approach of systematically moving students of graphic design from static participants to dynamic practitioners of design thinking through upper level coursework in a four-year undergraduate program in graphic design.
|Keywords:||Teaching Techniques, Creative Problem-solving, Experiential Learning, Observation, Metaphorical Exercises, Design Thinking, Project Approach|
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, Department of Design, College of Fine Art & Design, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
Associate Professor, Graphic Design and Graduate Advisor, MFA program, Department of Design, , College of Arts, Media and Design, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
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