Drama in Design: An Open Brief to Design for Wellbeing

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Liao, Tjhien Yuan; Person , Oscar
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland; 2: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Section: Wellbeing
Page(s): 537-542
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


This paper presents a design module in which student teams were challenged in an open brief to design for wellbeing. To design for wellbeing is difficult. Wellbeing is ambiguous, hard to define and highly personal. In the process of defining their own briefs, a drama workshop was set up to help the students share their understandings about wellbeing. In the paper, we describe the early stages of the design process, when the students conceptualized and shared their understandings of wellbeing through drama and autobiographical writing. To support our analysis, we introduce Bolton’s [8, 9] theory and practice of drama education. Bolton’s work points to a new venue for research on drama in design – namely, the broader learning process of drama that occurs beyond the staged presentation. In illustrating the implications of Bolton’s work on drama for design, we describe how the students drew valuable learning experiences from their autobiographical writings and from preparing staged presentations in designing for wellbeing.

Keywords: Drama in design, learning, wellbeing


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