The Future of Design: Unframed Problem Solving in Design Education

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The present paper sets out to investigate the impact and significance of a 3rd semester course in design methods, complex problem solving, and cross-disciplinary collaboration to the students within six design disciplines as experienced by the students three years later. The course reflects a shift in focus from a design practice framed by outcome to open-ended problem solving.
Data shows that some students draw a direct line between the course and later success, for instance in obtaining an internship, whereas others find it of little use and relevance to later practice. Existing design research and theory is applied to further understand how to motivate design students to engage in an expanded field of design practice.
Findings indicate that students need help to disengage from identifying with a particular design discipline if they are to engage in complex problem solving with an open mindset. This might be achieved in part by the design school changing the names of individual design disciplines to prevent predetermined outcomes. Also, students might be more willing to experience and apply new approaches if they are included in discussions about contextual factors such as transitions in economy, society, and technology influencing the future disciplines and practices of design and thus the professional roles that they themselves might take.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date9 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2016
EventThe 18th International Conference on Engineering and product Design Education - Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 8 Sep 20169 Sep 2016


ConferenceThe 18th International Conference on Engineering and product Design Education
LocationAalborg Universitet
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