Learning beyond borders: Pioneering interdisciplinary learning and teaching approaches to promote socially responsible design practices
Learning beyond borders: Pioneering interdisciplinary
learning and teaching approaches to promote socially
responsible design practices.
Module / MA Project 1 / the Socially Active Designer.
Presenters: Dr Claire Craig / Senior Lecturer / Lab4Living /
Health & Well Being
Roger Bateman: Principal Lecturer / MA Design Programme
Leader/ACES/ Art & Design.
Teaching staff: Dr Claire Craig / Roger Bateman / Dr Eve Stirling
Students: Yr 1 / Semester 1 / 2015/16 / MA Design Programme.
Socially Responsible Design:
1st semester module, 14 weeks, MA Design, 6 disciplines.
3 projects, micro, micro mini, *mini (6 weeks)
Design & Dementia (Memory loss)
*9 collaborative group projects involving 36 students, staff from
2 faculties and 1 research centre, third sector organisation and
Does the atelier method or studio teaching
environment of one communal space and one
fixed timetable offer the best support and
learning opportunities for today’s
Disruption / Innovation
*Learning beyond the borders of
*Learning beyond borders:
*Learning beyond borders:
beyond the classroom.
*Learning beyond borders of
existing learning and teaching
Relating our work to other
Hacking the Fixperts model
• Collaborative Team
• Allowing for real world
• Creating strong visual
film making (more on this
• Developing a response
through an iterative
• Learning to listen and
understand the needs of
• Connecting with (an)
*Dementia, memory loss
*9 collaborative group projects
involving 36 students, staff and
third sector organisations,
Sheffield City Council
*Sheffield City Schools
How can co-design offer a medium to enable people living in transient multi-
ethnic ‘villages’ communicate with each other and build understanding across
cultures and generations?
Setting the broader context: What is socially responsible design and why is it important - both from a broader design perspective but also in terms of how it impacts on students, linking this to sense of purpose and employability. Raises questions about the purpose of the teaching design and the role of the university and how it links to this (Claire & Roger)
Development of the project and the approach: possibly referring to constructivism (Claire) and action research. must not forget Fixperts and how we hacked the Fixperts model (does this come in the next slide?).
The project uses a participatory action research methodology (Swantz, 2008; Wadsworth, 1998). This project will inform subsequent project iterations that will further explore collaborative co-creation by student from the MA Programme, with the faculty the University and critically the wider community. The focus of the research is increasing student engagement with social innovation.
Art and design education has frequently argued that the atelier method or studio environment, mirrors the ‘real world’; however, the intellectual landscape of the twenty-first century made up of emergent organisations, open source development and networked innovation, rises from new and constantly changing human connections.The landscape of work environments has also been changing to strengthen these connections and give people more variety and choice in where to work and how to work. Technology and the internet allow constant access and wider access than ever before. The standard atelier method or studio teaching environment of one communal space and one fixed timetable is unlikely to offer the best support and learning opportunities for today’s creative students; it does not mirror the ‘real contemporary world’.
What was innovative approach: How what we developed and delivered was different from current university teaching: borders of discipline, between different countries, interdisciplinarity (Roger and Claire) Also about disrupting the studio teaching model and also the use of film making as a medium
We elected to work with a NFP organisation called fixperts. Fixperts is a social project, an open knowledge sharing platform. Their mission is to see everyone fixing stuff, allying designing and fixing as a way of empowering people to find solution for themselves. We were looking for a model of social innovation that we could utilise. We did in fact hack the fixperts model we decided to fix situations not products.
Our hacked Fixperts model is based on:
Collaborative Team working
Allowing for real world experience
Creating strong visual communication through film making (more on this later)
Developing a response to a provocation through iterative design process
Learning to listen and understand the needs of others
Connecting with (an) immediate environment(s)
The use of Film and video:
Analogue technologies like audio recording, film, and traditional video have a long history of use in many areas of social and psychological research, especially in anthropology (Gibbs et al., 2002). For example Kanstrup suggests that “methodologically, it can be difficult to understand work practices since parts of work practices may even be invisible at first hand... [The] need for closer investigation has made researchers within work place studies turn to ethnographic methods and to the use of visual technologies in data collection and analysis. (Shrum et al., 2005)
Film and video were used to capture the projects as well as to disseminate the projects to a wide audience after the projects had taken place