THE FUTURE OF DESIGN: UNFRAMED PROBLEM SOLVING IN DESIGN EDUCATION
DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: rine Gӧtzche Gelting (2)
Institution: 1Design School Kolding, 2Independant Scholar
The present paper sets out to investigate the impact and significance of a 3rd semester course in design
methods, complex problem solving, and cross-disciplinary collaboration to the students within six
design disciplines as experienced by the students three years later. The course reflects a shift in focus
from a design practice framed by outcome to open-ended problem solving.
Data shows that some students draw a direct line between the course and later success, for instance in
obtaining an internship, whereas others find it of little use and relevance to later practice. Existing
design research and theory is applied to further understand how to motivate design students to engage
in an expanded field of design practice.
Findings indicate that students need help to disengage from identifying with a particular design
discipline if they are to engage in complex problem solving with an open mindset. This might be
achieved in part by the design school changing the names of individual design disciplines to prevent
predetermined outcomes. Also, students might be more willing to experience and apply new
approaches if they are included in discussions about contextual factors such as transitions in economy,
society, and technology influencing the future disciplines and practices of design and thus the
professional roles that they themselves might take.