Teaching Design Activism in Higher Education

By Lorella Di Cintio.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

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

Various forms of activist thinking are permeating design schools and practice world-wide–ranging from research to theory to pedagogy to the discussion of issues. By reviewing three reports from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1990, 1996, 1998), this author links student activism of the 1960s to civic-engagement models* found in higher education today. Specifically, the paper suggests that the birth of design activism can be found in the Boyer and Mitang Carnegie Report (1996), and connects this report to the new generation of design practitioners. The paper provides a summary of new and changing methodologies in design education that are on the immediate horizon, and it demonstrates that the time has come for design educators to revisit calls for civic engagement in institutions of higher learning, and to merge this kind of engagement with an activist-based practice.

Keywords: Design Activism, Civic/Community Engagement in Higher Learning

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 198.638KB).

Lorella Di Cintio

Lecturer, Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

She teaches at Ryerson University. Di Cintio has been educated in Canada, United States and Europe.