DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Ferreira, João; Hernández-Ramírez, Rodrigo
Series: E&PDE
Institution: CIAUD, Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. IADE–Faculdade de Design, Tecnologia e Comunicação da Universidade Europeia, Portugal
Section: Established, alternative and emerging educational paradigms to equip engineers and designers for future challenges
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.29
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


This paper outlines a pedagogical approach based on “sketchnoting” to help design students gather, synthesise, and make sense of information. The method combines theory on how people learn with theory on how designers typically think to develop a form of studying, research, and sensemaking useful for both the course and lifelong learning. Based on dual coding theory, the method suggests creating two representations (visual and verbal) of complex information to facilitate sensemaking. Sensemaking is a cognitive process that helps people make sense of their experienced situations. A visual note-taking system, adapted to designers’ thinking, provides a helpful bridge between disciplines with different epistemological foundations but is not without challenges. Objective evaluation of a highly personal sensemaking method is problematic, and students with a background in visual arts may be better prepared to use it. The paper will discuss these issues and relate them to the future challenges that design education must face.

Keywords: Visual notetaking, Design education, Dual coding, Visual Thinking, Semi-structured interviews


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