Design Education: A Vision Lost?

Dandelion and FossilThe proposed new national curriculum for Design and Technology in England is frankly astonishing. How such a document could have come into existence can only be imagined, but it is not recognisable either as representative of current good practice, or of the views of any of organisations who were believed to have an influence over policy developments. There is little to be gained by LDP joining in the chorus of criticism of this folly, although, of course, we support its critics in their endeavours and wish them well.

Instead, we have decided to publish a specially commissioned, and rapidly written book. It will be structured around the 2010 John Eggleston Memorial Lecture that was given by Ken Baynes at the Design and Technology Association Education & International Research Conference. The lecture was entitled: Models of Change: The future of design education and the published version can be freely downloaded from:

The lecture proposed 7 key themes around which a future vision for design education could be framed:

  • The aims of design education
  • The significance of practical education
  • Encouraging the imagination
  • The creative value of aesthetic awareness
  • The value of learning through making
  • The creative relationships between designing and making
  • The educational purpose of doing design projects.

Seven leading academics in the design education field have been asked to develop this discussion from their perspectives, and Ken’s starting positions, in order to expose the real agenda for a review of design education provision that could lead to a curriculum policy that is fit for the 21st century. LDP intends to publish this book by the end of March in order that it can play its part in the review of current proposals, which must be completed by 16 April. LDP is hoping that this positive contribution can help build the pressure for the major changes that are needed to the existing proposals and provide a platform for more enlightened future debates. The short video included here features Ken Baynes talking about the vision of design education that has been lost.

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