08 - Teaching Design

I would like to understand what learners face now and in near future application, so I continually develop my design expertise and competencies, actively applying my skills in designing real-world projects.

Which every human being brings a unique approach to the act of learning, which binds together the ethics, values, beliefs, experiences, culture, and other hegemonic assumptions of that individual in the process of design and is infused in the final designed existences. This brief statement structures some of my core beliefs about design and the design process, which encapsulate my design philosophy or design identity.

Because of the wide range of implicit and explicit beliefs and behaviors that constitute an individual's identity or way of acting, this paper represents a summary of the forces and constructs that are most important in understanding my philosophy and does not constitute a complete model of my design philosophy. I will briefly describe my beliefs about design, how those beliefs shape the design space and the act of designing, and how activities within that space are selected and executed as a mediated act.

Beliefs about Design

Individual beliefs naturally shape the experience of a phenomenon or activity. in viewing design, both as a practitioner of design and a researcher of design thinking, I believe that it is vital to view design as a change, an artifact, and activity that is situated in time and space and represents a natural human ability and activity.

Design can be defined on broadly as intentional change (Nelson and Stolterman, 2012) or "changing existing situations into preferred ones (Simon, 1996, p.112). Beyond the immediate change that may be explicitly designed, there are long-term implications for the design as its use changes over time, and even in its eventual disposal or obsolescence.

Design is situated in time and place (Rittel, 1987), and cannot be separated from its context of use or human activity in the creation and dissemination of the design artifact. This includes sensitivity to the place of a design in place and time - through cultural, social, political, and other hegemonic norms.

Design is a natural human activity (Heskett, 2005). It is something that everyone does on an informal level, and everyone has the capability and capacity to improve their design skills and thinking processes over time (Cross, 2011).

The Design Space

Within my view of design as an intentional process of creating change in a contextualized, situated space (Rittel, 1987), the design space forms a mediated relationship between actors in the design process. Actors in this mediated relationship may include designers, contractors, developers, and implementers of the design on one side, and the client, management, employees, and projected or actual users on the other side. The design process itself can be seen as the human activity that produces a new design - the not - yet - existing, including the construction of these relationships (the contracting phase), creation of the design, and the implementation and lifecycle that the design commences (Hatchuel, 2001; Heskett, 2005; Nelson & Stolterman, 2012). In this way, design space is a social and creative organism that exists along a significant time scale, where the creation of the not-yet-existing can be seen as consequential yet liminal. The design process is a threshold between contracting and implementation/lifecycle, and likely represents a small portion of the overall relationship between designer, design, and user.

When reviewing the design space as mediated - as an individual researcher, between research and educator, and between systems of learning, education, and knowledge - this implies the need for guiding principles or postures towards this space. As a designer, I seek to promote awareness of one's self and the goals of the design process, languages between all stakeholders and user system, an overriding empathy for all constituents in the design space, and a desire for rigorous failure analysis at all stages in the design process.


When I view the design space and implied process as an experience between myself consideration and the knowledge or prospective learning, this relationship becomes generative for future design, and allows me to maintain an ongoing awareness of biases and patterns of thinking that are different from my own. This structure aligns with my design philosophy-an attitude toward a design that is future-looking, open to honest reflection and change, always looking out for personal biases that keep me from hearing what is really being said, and attentive to the full lifecycle and experience of research and learning.

Posted By: alberttls
Posted On: Jun-26-2019 @ 11:15pm
Last Updated: Jun-26-2019 @ 11:16pm
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