Creative camaraderie: Promoting a shared design culture for staff and students

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education - Growing Our Future, EPDE 2013, 2013, pp. 550 - 555
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One of the changes to University education in recent years has been an increase in learning flexibility for students. Modular programming has allowed students to not only customize their learning, but also to study in a variety of part time patterns. Whilst there have been many positive benefits of this arrangement, one of the negative consequences has been a loss of the camaraderie that students - and staff - benefit from when working with a consistent cohort, on a prescribed programme in a studio engendered design culture. Lecturers have had to become more imaginative in providing opportunities for both students and staff to become engaged with the programme and actively identify with its values. The imperative to foster this loyalty increases as retention becomes more of an issue, programmes compete for students and students become more discerning in directing their educational pathways. Lecturers need to look to innovative ways to connect with their students irrespective of their fragmented patterns of study, help the students connect with each other - both within the cohort and between years - and encourage the students to see themselves as part of an overall discipline area. Umbrella projects and extra curricular initiatives can sidestep the confines of modularized learning and provide staff and students with a shared design experience. This paper outlines alternative approaches by two University design departments in using the same external event to foster design culture, a sense of identity for students and staff and reinforce the values of their programmes.
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