Keynote Speakers

AMANDA BREYTENBACH

VICE DEAN, FACULTY OF ART, DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG, SA AND PRESIDENT, DESIGN EDUCATION FORUM OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (DEFSA)

A mammoth task: developing and strengthening design research in South Africa at a national level

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The paper commences with a brief description of the post-1994 South African Higher Education environment and the transformation that has taken place over the past 10 years. The position of the tertiary design environment is explained within the national context with particular focus on the location and offering of postgraduate design programmes. The introduction to both the national and design Higher Education landscape serves as a background to explain the role and responsibility of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa (DEFSA). Since the inception of DEFSA in 1991, the Forum aspired to engage with national, regional and institutional design education requirements and expectations. As a result, the DEFSA annual (at times bi-annual) design education conferences have been the most prominent event undertaken by the Forum over the past 19 years. Due to the increase in national and institutional research output requirements, it is expected that research standards and the quality of DEFSA conferences are continually revised to meet national research output criteria. The Forum sees itself as an active participant in the development of design research and postgraduate research activities in South Africa. The paper will reflect on the mammoth task that DEFSA currently faces to continue active participation in the delivery of research output in South Africa, while meeting national and institutional expectations. The conclusion will turn the focus to the international design education community and stress the importance of international support and participation in the development of design research. The final reflection will explain the specific needs of a design community of which the majority of educators are described as young, inexperienced design researchers and the challenges that they experience in a developing and geographically isolated country such as South Africa.

GRÁINNE CONOLE

PROFESSOR OF E-LEARNING IN THE INSTITUTE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AT THE OPEN UNIVERSITY IN THE UK

Learning design: making practice explicit

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New technologies have immense potential for learning, but the sheer variety possible also creates challenges for learners in terms of navigating through an increasingly complex digital landscape and for teachers in terms of how to design and support learning interventions. How can learners and teachers make informed decisions about what technologies to use in the design and support of learning activities? This presentation will consider this question and present a new methodology for design – ‘learning design', which aims to shift the creation and support of learning from what has traditionally been an implicit, belief-based practice to one that is explicit and design based. Learning design research at the Open University, UK has included the development of a set of conceptual design views, a tool for visualising designs (CompendiumLD) and a social networking site, for sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas and designs (Cloudworks). An overview of this work will be provided, along with a discussion of the perceived benefits of this new approach to educational design.

KEES DORST

PROFESSOR OF DESIGN AND ASSOCIATE DEAN RESEARCH, FACULTY OF DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY

Design Thinking at large

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In the last few years, the notion of design thinking has gained popularity outside the core design professions -it is a buzzword in the business world, and we can find design thinking mentioned as an exciting new paradigm for dealing with problems in sectors as a far afield as education, IT and medicine. This success builds on the great strengths that design thinking can bring to those professions, e.g. through framing, integration, solution focus and the ability to create a context for forethought. But ‘Design Thinking' can take many forms and impact an organization in many different ways. In this presentation a framework is proposed that could serve as the backbone of a new, much more detailed articulation of design thinking for innovation.

SUSAN FINGER

PROFESSOR, CIVIL ENGINEERING, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING DESIGN RESEARCH CENTRE, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, USA

Designing Collaborative Learning Environments

During the process of creating a design, team members exchange ideas in meetings, through email, during informal exchanges, in documents, and in drawings. The knowledge the team generates and shares is synthesized in the design, but is rarely expressed explicitly. We are developing collaboration tools that encourage knowledge sharing and that enable a design team to see the evolution of their ideas.

ROGER HADGRAFT

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DIRECTOR, ENGINEERING LEARNING UNIT, THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Design for Complex Systems – what skills are required?

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We are all graduating students from programs in engineering, architecture, industrial design, planning, etc, who will be expected to enter the workforce ready to engage with complex problems. Are they well prepared? What will they face? No longer do problems come neatly wrapped: design a bridge, dam, multistorey building, kettle, etc. These are all fairly straightforward tasks. Instead, our graduates will need to innovate to solve complex systems problems: improve transport in Melbourne, transform the educational system, provide clean drinking water for Phnom Penh, house the homeless. Are we preparing our students for these systems design problems or are we preparing them for the twentieth century? What does education for the twenty-first century look like? What skills do we need to make it work?

LARRY LEIFER

PROFESSOR, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY DIRECTOR, STANFORD CENTER FOR DESIGN RESEARCH, DIRECTOR, HASSO PLATTNER DESIGNTHINKING RESEARCH PROGRAM AT STANFORD

Dancing with Ambiguity design thinking in theory and practice

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Over the past thirty years, a powerful methodology for innovation has emerged. It integrates human, business and technical factors in problem forming, solving and design: "Design-Thinking." This human-centric methodology integrates expertise from design, social sciences, business and engineering. It is best implemented by high performance project teams applying diverse points-of- view simultaneously. It creates a vibrant interaction environment that promotes iterative learning cycles driven by rapid conceptual prototyping. The methodology has proven successful in the creation of innovative products, systems, and services. Design-thinking works. Industry is subscribing to boot camps and executive education workshops. Teams of industry, government and education experts are tackling complex problems and finding powerful solutions. The time is right to apply rigorous academic research to understand how, when and why design thinking works and fails. It is time to create next generation design thinking behaviors and supporting tools. Through courting ambiguity, we can let invention happen even if we cannot make it happen. We can nurture a corpus of behaviors that increase the probability of finding a path to innovation in the face of uncertainty. Emphasis is placed on the questions we ask versus the decisions made. A suite of application examples and research finding will be used to illustrate the concepts in principal and in action.

THOMAS D. MEIER

PRESIDENT, ZURICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS (ZHDK) AND PRESIDENT OF ARTSCHOOLS SWITZERLAND

From Swiss Design to design thinking: Design education at the Zurich University of the Arts

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Swiss Design stands for a remarkable design tradition. With its world famous typefaces, its outstanding achievements in product and graphic design and an ongoing success story in architectural design, Switzerland, a small country in the heart of Europe, has put its mark on the international design scene for more than a century now. The „Kunstgewerbeschule“ in Zurich was founded 130 years ago. This great tradition is both an enormous wealth and a challenge for the future. How can we take into account this tradition and yet adapt to the design needs of a globalised society? Despite the obvious tensions, and not without controversy, the Zurich University of the Arts has adapted its design education programs to these new and changing needs. Design thinking has become an essential component, not neglecting tradition, but living in light of it

KEVIN MURRAY

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR RMIT UNIVERSITY, RESEARCH FELLOW UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE AND ADJUNCT RESEARCH FELLOW MONASH UNIVERSITY

Do you want ethics with that? New platforms for designing trust

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Ethical consumerism is at the crossroads. Scenes of Hollywood celebrities in Africa reflect the current fashion for association with global causes. But like the idealism of the 1960s, the fashion cycle eventually turns and what was once a noble cause becomes yesterday's fad. How can we sustain the interest in products that offer benefit not only to the consumer but also the world of the producer? After the GFC, there have been renewed attempts to underpin globalisation with transnational laws that ensure ethical processes and outcomes. The Fair Trade model is now broadening its reach beyond coffee to business management. So what is the future for ethics in design? This talk considers how ethical consumerism is now being underpinned by such systems as Fair Trade, Chain of Custody and World of Good. It considers specifically the case of products designed to be handmade by traditional artisans. What platform might carry the ethical value of that object from the producer to the consumer? How might education prepare designers for these new forms of ethical production?

WENDY SARKISSIAN

ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CURTIN UNIVERSITY SUSTAINABILITY POLICY INSTITUTE AND ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, BOND UNIVERSITY

Kitchen Table Sustainability: how can we educate designers to involve ordinary people in the sustainability debate?

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With collapse of Hopenhagen-Copenhagen-Nopenhagen, the leaked climate scientists' email scandals and the shelving of the ETS, many Australians are understandably confused — and sceptical — about sustainability – at all levels. Yet the need for the design professions to address sustainability issues has never been greater! What can design educators do to help students develop into the sorts of professionals who can engage with communities about these complex problems? How could a design curriculum nurture the sensibilities needed by designers in this chaotic environment. Educator, ethicist and planner Wendy Sarkissian introduces her new book, Kitchen Table Sustainability: Practical Recipes for Community Engagement with Sustainability (Earthscan, 2009) and identifies the engagement needs of communities within a sustainability context. She speculates about how a curriculum to teach an “ethic of caring for Nature” might transform design education — and ultimately design practice.

ALEC TZANNES

PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF THE FACULTY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, UNIVERSITY OF NSW AWARDED ARCHITECTURE IN AUSTRALIA

The national award structure, criteria, reviews of selected projects and observations of impacts on design culture

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How does Australia's national architecture award program impact design culture? Is awarded architecture of significance in the development of Australia's built environment? The Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), the peak professional body representing the architectural profession in Australia, conducts the leading awards program recognizing built work of the highest quality. This program aims to chronicle the values and interests of architects through awards and associated critical assessment providing insight into the cultural contribution of architecture to Australian society. The RAIA national awards program is described including the guiding principles, criteria, jury requirements and selection process for awarded buildings. The program's hortcomings as well as contribution to the development of Australian architecture are considered. Projects from two award categories, Public and Commercial Architecture in a three year period over 2007 -2009, are selected for analysis, drawing on jury citations to expand on the cultural issues embodied in the decisions to posit a range of issues that have influenced the development of Australian culture. Regional differences are evident in the selected works that highlight the complexity of Australian conditions of practice and the responsiveness of architects to site -specific influences. Awarded architecture often demonstrates striking originality epresenting a paradigm shift within the awarded category. Examining RAIA awarded architecture gives insight into the peer review system and the impact of the work of architects on Australian culture and society.