Design Education as a Passport to Professional Practice

DS 62: Proceedings of E&PDE 2010, the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., Trondheim, Norway, 02.-03.09.2010

Year: 2010
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Tovey, Michael John; Bull, Karen
Page(s): 426-431


The idea of a community of professional practice is a powerful one. There are communities of design practitioners for such groups as architects, graphic designers and others (this is illustrated through the example of automotive design). In design education which focuses on developing capability in design practice, the implicit ambition is to provide students with those abilities which enable them to join the community of practice. Those abilities include both being able to engage in design thinking, and being able to externalize that capability through drawings and other process and solution representations. At the core of being able to engage in designerly thinking, balancing creative and evaluative thinking is a dual processing match of linear and simultaneous processes as a conversation between these two modes of thought. For design students achieving this match involves confronting and travelling through a key threshold which we have labelled the ‘toleration of design uncertainty’. For students of design, their drawings and other visual material provide evidence their capability and when gathered together become their passports to enter the community of practice. The re-design of the Coventry design programme to accommodate these findings is briefly described.

Keywords: Practice communities, designerly thinking, threshold capability, passport


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