Design collectives in education: evaluating the atelier format and the use of teaching narrative for collective cultural and creative learning, and the subsequent impact on professional practice

RMIT, Design Research Institute
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Alternative Practices in Design: The Collective Past, Present & Future: Symposium Proceedings 2010, 2010, pp. 5 - 15
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This paper reviews the case for cultural and creative design collectives in design education. Higher education taught design courses use a diversity of studio models ranging from the atelier format in which students have their own shared studio space, through to hot-desking and, increasingly, no-desking formats. Drawing on observation and experimentation with pedagogical and organizational formats and case studies in industrial design and architecture, the authors investigate whether peer group excellence is best achieved by encouraging and facilitating a cultural and creative collective among students, in which ownership, learning and definition of the course increasingly falls to the student group, leaving staff to act as catalysts and enablers, while offering students an objective critique. Through examples, the authors examine how this collective-peer approach in education impacts on the ability of graduate designers entering practice to work flexibly and in modes in which competition and collaboration can co-exist.
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