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PHD-DESIGN  May 2011

PHD-DESIGN May 2011

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Subject:

Re: Why design education must change

From:

Ranjan MP <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 13 May 2011 09:12:39 +0530

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

Dear Tulia Moss, Don and the list

The quote is from Jeffrey Chan on Nov 24 2010 in response to Don Norman
piece on Why Design Education must change.

I agree with Don that design education must change but not that we have to
throw away the baby with the bathwater since there is so much of good that
design can bring to the world that our university education system does not
seem to provide us with in spite of all the high standards of scholarship
therein.

Some of us here in India have been arguing with the Government of India and
the Design education establishment here that a deep review of design
education is necessary and long overdue. You can see more about this
initiative on the Vision First blog here at this link below. Do join the
debate and we can benefit from your wisdom. The Government of India has
proposed the setting up of four new NID's exactly after 50 years of the
original National Institute of Design at Paldi in Ahmedabad based on the
vision report prepared by Charles and Ray Eames called the India Report, a
seminal piece of text on design thought, action and sensibilities, if there
was one.
Vision First blog <http://www.visionfirst.in/>
Eames India Report Download 360 kb pdf <https://files.me.com/ranjanmp/h6ztro
>

I quote the piece here

Dear Don and List,
I read the article, 'Why design education must change' with mixed feelings.
But let me first say thank you for making this available for me before it
appears on Core77.
There are more than a handful of ideas that demand slow digestion. But I
pick up two points for a start: two points that also recurred repeatedly
through the article.
(1) on experimentationsDon, beyond the reasons you cited for more in depth
and scientifically rigorous experimentations for design, I cannot help but
think that there is a further need to distinguish qualitatively between
experimentations done in cognitive science and experimentations (to be) done
in design. The basic purpose of the former is to falsify (and hence clarify)
and to describe. But the overall purpose of the latter is to create and to
prescribe. Insofar as the inquiry process is concerned the structure is
similar; but insofar as the teleology is concerned, they are dissimilar. For
these reasons, to subject subjects to failure for the 101th experiment in
cognitive science may be permissible by the teleology of science. But to
subject subjects for the 101th experiment just to see how our designs may
fail on these subjects are less permissible by the teleology of design.
Hence if designers must perform rigorous experimentations approaching the
level of rigor in cognitive psychology and the social sciences, I imagine
that a whole new way of experimental inquiry that commensurates with design
must also emerge alongside. To build on your suggestion that design needs
experimental designs that are "simple and quick", I suppose these new
experimental inquiry must be humanistically sensitive as well.
(2) on ignoranceIt is hard to argue for ignorance. But I am going to try. On
this, I think there is a need to make another distinction: to distinguish
between heroic ignorance and modest ignorance. I suppose in your article,
you were arguing for the former at the expense of the latter, which has
merit and also happens to be a significant goal of Socratic teaching. To
practice heroic ignorance the designer expresses 'I know best'; but to
practice modest ignorance--or self-conscious ignorance of 'I know not'--it
is in fact quite compatible with the nature of design, especially
participatory design within complex systems. Unless we accept this human
condition of ignorance, and strive to attain the virtues of modest
ignorance, we cannot learn. If we cannot learn, then we also cannot design
as well--because it is impractical to design without accepting that learning
is highly probable and desirable within the design process.
I am an architect by training, and so while I dabble in some product design
on the side and think I understand the arguments for a science of design, I
am not a trained industrial designer. Even so, it seems that the existing
curriculums for many design programs (as I observe) still have their merits
because they nonetheless avail students to the possibility of (1) and (2)
above.

Jeffrey

UnQuote

M P Ranjan
from my iMac at home on the NID campus
13 May 2011 at 9.00 am IST

-------------------------------------------------------------
*Prof M P Ranjan*
*Design Thinker and author of blog -
www.Designforindia.com<http://design-for-india.blogspot.com/>
*
E8 Faculty Housing
National Institute of Design
Paldi
Ahmedabad 380 007 India

Tel: (res) 91 79 26610054
email: ranjanmp@g <[log in to unmask]>mail.com

<[log in to unmask]>web site: http://homepage.mac.com/ranjanmp
<http://homepage.mac.com/ranjanmp>web domain: http://www.ranjanmp.in
<http://www.ranjanmp.in/>blog: <http://www.design-for-india.blogspot.com>
education blog: <http://www.design-concepts-and-concerns.blogspot.com>
education blog: http://www.visible-information-india.blogspot.com
<http://www.visible-information-india.blogspot.com/>
------------------------------------------------------------

On 13 May 2011 03:52, Tulia Moss <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Can someone confirm the author of this quote is please?
>>
>> ‘To practice heroic ignorance the designer expresses 'I know best'; but to
>> practice modest ignorance--or self-conscious ignorance of 'I know not'--it
>> is in fact quite compatible with the nature of design, especially
>> participatory design within complex systems. Unless we accept this human
>> condition of ignorance, and strive to attain the virtues of modest
>> ignorance, we cannot learn. If we cannot learn, then we also cannot design
>> as well--because it is impractical to design without accepting that learning
>> is highly probable and desirable within the design process.’
>> Why design education must change
>>
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> November, 2010 3:50:54 AM
>>
>>


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