Changing design education
This panel discussion was moderated by the Korean designer and educator,
Ahn Sang-Soo, and included brief talks by Mitsuo Katsui (Japan), Kirti
Tivedi (India), Thomas Ockerse (USA), and Karen Blincoe (Denmark). This
was a discussion about methods of changing design education to encourage
a more sustainable way of interacting with space, time, and form.
Katsui began the forum by making the point that sustainable design education
is dependent on the understanding of one's relationship to surrounding
space and time. He demonstrates this with a series of slides of his students'
work. He shows interactive images detailing a persons proximity to his
family, his air conditioner, Tokyo and the world overall, and pieces
showing train schedules in Japan. His abstracted point seems to be related
to showing intersections between language and objects as well.
Kirti Tivedi makes a point about how interaction with objects in art
and in science has always been separated from the earliest education.
These tendencies undermine a designer's ability to understand why nature
can effortlessly create forms that designers struggle for lifetimes to
mimic. Design education has been too much about doing what is "right" right
now, and lacks perspective. Form is the visual result of forces acting
on substance, Tivedi asserts, and without an understanding of those forces
we cannot expect to successfully make form.
Thomas Ockerse spoke next, stating that spiritual development should
be primary in the development of design students. Without proper attention
to "soul", the student will not be able to approach design
from an appropriate vantage point. The meaning of Education is "to
draw out" not to fill a void. Design education's focus on technique
has been a failure, he says. Ockerse hopes education, especially design
education will become a more holistic business.
Karen Blincoe says that the challenge is changing the way we teach to
meet the twentieth century. To move into the future, we must use today's
culture as a point of departure. In making changes, we should create
the world we want, and maintain contact with our pasts. She tells about
the well-known tradition of Danish design but insists that this can be
only a starting point for young designers, they must break away from
tradition if to move forward.
Ahn Sang-Soo concludes the presentation with a series of slides showing
his trip to China with his students. (NR)