Design Pedagogy and the Threshold of Uncertainty

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Tovey, Michael John; Osmond, Jane
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Coventry University, United Kingdom
Section: Design Education Methods
Page(s): 008-013
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


There is a long tradition of teaching design through design practice in universities and colleges. The end goal for graduates is to achieve a level of capability to function as designers in the professional world. Their education helps them create a passport to enter this community of professional practice. Part of the legacy of the funding initiative in England to support research into teaching has been the development of a better understanding of a practice based approach to design pedagogy. In two centres, signature pedagogies were identified as a distinguishing characteristic for developing student capability within varieties of design practice, focusing on those elements which are characteristic of the discipline. The emphasis moves away from the content of the curriculum and towards practical, embodied and experiential ways of knowing. For product and automotive design the concept of transformative practice was identified as crucial. Designers employ two simultaneous interacting cognitive styles. From a longitudinal study it became clear that in order to develop the confidence to match these two modes of thought, neophyte designers needed to surmount a barrier, which was labelled the threshold of uncertainty. Accommodating effective arrangements to accomplish this has reinforced the importance of employing the traditional arrangement of studio teaching

Keywords: Communities of practice, CETLs, threshold concepts, luminal spaces


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