Design pedagogy or design education may be defined as the set of practices and systems for the training in the field of design; the ways and methods of teaching for the acquisition of necessary knowledge and skills in order to practice the design profession.
Contemporary design education has found its methodological basis in the Bauhaus school (Germany, 1919-1933). It is considered to be a major influence for numerous design schools worldwide in the second half of the 20th century. The manifestations today continue at Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm (Germany, 1953-1968), after the Second World War, which attempted to systematize design methodology and introduced novel subjects such as ergonomics, semiotics and communication theory.
Today, numerous schools all over the world follow an “art and design” pedagogy, whereas others are positioned within the engineering spectrum. The increasing diversification of the design domain and the introduction of specializations related to new technologies have introduced further complexity into the design education landscape.
Design pedagogy, having operated in the past in the shadow of art or engineering education, is gradually gaining autonomy as the field of design is growing and eventually diversifying itself into various subfields and different academic levels. Having started as craft-based training with rather narrow vocational aims, design education is developing into an interdisciplinary academic field emphasizing research and preparing designers for a knowledge economy.
Debates on education assert that the mission of design pedagogy should foster an environment that nurtures exploration, enlightenment and critical thinking among all students. Inquiry, investigation, and discovery are now viewed as activities central to architectural programs. These debates present new opportunities for us as academics to strengthen our programs, to enhance our role in shaping education, and to improve the quality of that education.
- MAMTA MANTRI