Learning theory through doing: Applying design studio methods in the construction of an academic argument
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This paper presents the outcomes of an action research inquiry that set out to enhance first-year visual communication student learning of design theory and history through the incorporation of creative practice methods commonly used in practical design studio environments. As educators of both design theory and practice, our previous observations of how novice design students engaged with theory, compared to how they engaged with practice, led us to the decision that change was required to facilitate deeper understanding of theoretical discourse through the incorporation of creative practice methods. That was our ‘call to action’. The methods, described in the article as interventions, were introduced to support the critical and analytical thinking necessary to engage with theoretical discourse. They can also be thought of as learning strategies incorporated to enhance student learning and involved creative thinking exercises, visualization techniques, collaboration and audience presentation. Our findings demonstrate that student learning of design theory and history can be enhanced when creative practice methods are employed within a critical studies context and that discourse in design education is no longer the exclusive domain of the written word.
Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education
© 2017 Intellect Ltd . This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design)
Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy