Sustainable design training cards as a way to promote active learning

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


This paper focuses on training cards as a way to promote active and conscious learning, here with focus on sustainable design approaches. In the paper this will be based on findings from the development of training cards for a collaborative project with a company and two freelance designers.

The theoretical framework the paper builds upon takes overall departure in a constructivist learning tradition and focuses on active learning as a way to approach the reflective practitioner (Schön, 1987, 1983). In novel or non-routine situations, experimentation is necessary as no or limited theoretical or practical basis exists (e.g. Basadur, 2005; Daalhuizen, 2014). In our educational institution we have a long experience with using training cards, such as inspirational, method or process cards, as tools to promote active learning in non-routine situations. Here they have shown to help making things concrete and outline relevant topics (Friis and Gelting, 2014, 2016). Furthermore, ‘game pieces’ can speed up the process and create common ground when working in teams (Hornecker, 2014).

The paper is based on findings from a research report on ways to understand sustainability in a corporate organisation working with materials and products for the fashion market (authors, 2016). Here the training cards translate these findings to become operationalised in the organisation as a communication tool.
The training cards were developed as a methods-focused side project that followed a design project conducted by two fashion designers running from August to December 2016. Based on an existing collection of sustainable training cards used in teaching, a draft version of the cards was introduced to the designers in September 2016. In the following months interviews have been conducted with the designers to understand and discuss, how the cards have been used. Based on these conversations, the cards have been continuously modified. After ending the project, the cards will be integrated in the organisation as a way to communicate sustainable approaches and in teaching sustainability in fashion and textiles design education.
In the paper we want to discuss, why and how training cards can promote active learning and be used to obtain knowledge on chosen and often complex topics in a simplified manner. This will be based on our experiences with the developed training cards in the corporate organisation and in teaching sustainability in our institution.

Our findings from the project are that designers use the cards in different ways, which is partly influenced by the designers’ preliminary experience with sustainability and awareness on methods use. Nevertheless, all express the value of having and using the training cards to structure their process and externally communicate their ideas and thoughts. Furthermore, a conclusion is that training cards show potentials to be a means to learn about sustainability in organisations supported by the cards.

Relevance for Nordic educational research
We see that this paper is relevant for Nordic educational research as it explores the cards as teaching materials to make complex fields of knowledge more tangible, understandable and operational in education.

Basadur, M., 2005. Management: Synchronizing different kinds of creativity, in: Kaufman, J.C., Baer, J. (Eds.), Creativity across Domains: Faces of the Muse. Laurence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 261–279.
Daalhuizen, J., 2014. Method Usage in Design - How methods function as mental tools for designers (PhD dissertation). Delft University of Technology, Delft.
Friis, S.A.K., Gelting, A.K., 2014. The 5C Model. Presented at the DesignEd Asia Conference, Hong Kong.
Friis, S.A.K., Gelting, A.K.G., 2016. The Future of Design: Unframed problem solving in design education, in: Proceedings of EPDE’16. Presented at the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Aalborg, Denmark.
Halskov, K., Dalsgård, P., 2006. Inspiration card workshops, in: Proceedings of the 6th DIS Conference. pp. 2–11.
Hornecker, E., 2014. Creative Idea Exploration within the Structure of a Guiding Framework: The Card Brainstorming Game. Proc. TEI 2010 ACM.
Schön, D.A., 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. Jossey-Bass, San Fransisco.
Schön, D.A., 1983. The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action. Ashgate: Farnhem.
Publikationsdato23 mar. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 23 mar. 2017
BegivenhedNERA 2017: Congress of The Nordic Educational Reasearch Association - Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 23 mar. 201725 mar. 2017
Konferencens nummer: 45


KonferenceNERA 2017

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej