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PHD-DESIGN  July 2018

PHD-DESIGN July 2018

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Subject:

Re: design education has failed?

From:

"CHUA Soo Meng Jude (PLS)" <[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:

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 06:13:36 +0000

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I think this can be constructive. Perhaps we could offer a more nuanced notion of Engineering (Design) under STEM.  STEM is legitimized by and therefore reinforces design's "use" value, and I don't see how the neoliberal context is going away in the near future.  But as design as truly played out, and perhaps in certain educational contexts, it is perhaps true that the kind of knowing in design is such that it also helps broaden our self of who we are or what we ought to seek to do.  My own sense is that Simon's work points in that direction - but it need not be the only one.

Consider a parallel in the "sciences" (S) in STEM.   WE think of S in terms of physics and chemistry and biology - these of course can be instrumetalized, used, made to serve the performative in the neoliberal era.  But our encounter with the biological is often more than that. Recent readings of Hediegger by Richard Capobianco brings out how Heidegger's retrieval of the original greek experience of thaumazein, of awe or wonder, and wrapped up with that is the desire to seek knowledge for its own sake, rather than merely its' use, and this is often because of our encounter (or the early greeks too) with nature or physis, taken as the coming into being and then passing away of things  (rather than taken in the modern sense of universal laws interacting with unchanging particles).

So whilst education, whether of design or science or STEM education generally will continue to serve the performative neoliberal, and feed its terrors, one at the same time wonders if the very subject itself carried within it the seeds of its own agenda, that when flowered point in a direction somewhat different from the chains and influences in the neoliberal cave.     

When I first encountered Nigel's "designerly ways of knowing" I thought it was a very good idea - it represented an invitation and opportunity to interrogate and develop "design" in its focal meaning, regardless of the peripheral meanings in existence and instantiated in educational instituttions or practices.  I think that's key.  Even if the project has failed, the idea is not invalid. 

Again. The parallel to this is the jurisprudential project of defining "law". Developing the focal meaning is indifferent to whether it is instantiated in the world.  Even if all legal systems end up peripheral and serve tyrants, the focal meaning is not falsified, and in fact serves as a critical point of departure to reform these laws. 

I think it is the university that can be the place to work out and perpetuate the focal meaning of design. Institutions and programmes can fail, come and go, but good ideas must be preserved.  Even if it no more teaches it, it must still think it. Lest it is lost forever. 

J 



-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Keith Russell
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2018 6:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [Marketing Mail] design education has failed?

I propose, Nigel, that our problem is, the design education project has, after 40 years or so, failed. The third way (Design) has been unable to stay afloat; it has been subsumed back into the swamps of STEM and social and cultural studies.



Designerly ways of thinking have not generated better designers than craft schools managed with their rough and ready transmission through the master and apprentice process.



PhD students, working in areas of design, are in urgent need of a vast array of understandings that come from the sciences and traditional humanities. The missing elements you complained off, in terms of submissions to journals, are part of academic research methods, not design know-how.



So, let's chat about this?


keith


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