In the recent paper titled Designing and Learning by Technological Mediation: Adoption, Adaptation, Attainment published in the open journal Formakademisk Nenad Pavel invites a discussion about challenges in design studio education, which he suggests, puts learners in a difficult spot between ‘self-driven learning’ and ‘design critique’, two staple strategies used by design academics. He suggests that perhaps the learners’ design activity as guided by the design lecturers is not result of critical discussions, learners’ motivation, or self-efficacy. And, it is neither an outcome of designer learners’ thoughts, hands, media, or their social environment, but relations between these that are often difficult to spot and describe using mainstream learning theories such as cognitivism, behaviourism, and constructivism. The Design Literacy accordingly becomes ability of design participants, researchers, and pedagogues to ‘uncover’ these relations and be critical to their ‘own’ positions in them. This awareness of the own role can inform creation of these relations in the design activity, as well as provide ground for formation and implementation of design pedagogy.
Using postphenomenology, which aims to explain how technological artefacts mediate human relations and behaviour, Pavel outlines how these relations come to life to define his own pedagogical practice. The case study titled Designing and Learning by Technological Mediation is about practical course on universal design for assistive technologies. In it he illustrates how design activity is defined by the student groups, patients, hospital staff and 3D printing technology. The result is a new vocabulary emerging from postphenomenological perspective sheds a different light on design studio pedagogy, providing an alternative to curriculum-cantered and learner-cantered education , challenging the focus on a learner but also design critique and the model of master practitioner in design studio.
The talk is part of the Engage with Ideas monthly series, which explore the relationship between design, education, and society. Recordings from the past Engage with Ideas sessions are available here.
Nenad Pavel is an associate professor at the department of product design at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. Nenad is a design researcher and has doctoral degree from the educational science program from Oslo Metropolitan University and master’s degree in product design from Art University of Belgrade. He has ten years of experience designing products and logistics in offshore industry as well as design for screens. His academic experience includes ten years of teaching design, coordinating projects between industry and academia, developing research applications and university curricula. Nenad is a member of a research group for design, culture and sustainability where he contributes to the areas of human-technology relations, design theory and pedagogy, design for sustainability and wellbeing. Nenad’s areas of expertise include design research- participatory design and design science, design driven innovation, user experience design, and digital prototyping.
Pavel, N. (2021). Designing and Learning by Technological Mediation : Adoption, Adaptation, Attainment. FormAkademisk – forskningstidsskrift for design og designdidaktikk, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.7577/formakademisk.3620
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