Research:

Abstract
First-year design studio courses should be process driven in order to promote multiple idea development, risk taking, and exploration. However, in order to demonstrate the importance of process, feedback, and iteration this process needs to be documented and marked throughout the duration of an assignment. Therefore, I have designed my assignments to include a progress book format in which students are asked to record everything they have undergone weekly—including observational, and theoretical research, trials and errors, feedback, exploration, etc. The... more

Abstract
Tacit knowledge, intuitive responses, empirical research—how can design elevate itself as a discipline when its main forms of knowledge gathering and generation are still believed to be less valuable than those in traditional academia? Beginning design students must learn to put words to their actions, to understand their processes, and to be critical and reflective throughout all stages of a project. By guiding students into developing rigorous iterative processes that combine theoretical research, empirical research, questioning, and reflection students... more

Abstract
Students in first-year undergraduate graphic design courses, generally, are unfamiliar with how to work as a designer. My interest in this paper is to examine how the use of scaffolded assignments that incorporate Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) theory helped students adapt to new ways of learning and making. An important issue that this research raises is that creative processes are not chronological—they vary depending on the assignment and the individual student. This creates a variety of challenges that need to be addressed in advance of or during an... more

Abstract
Curriculum which focusses on Western fundamentals and precedents of graphic design may limit the beginning design student to a finite, predictable, and culturally limited view of what design is. Such restricted curriculum also risks the erasure of what the students bring to the classroom—diverse perspectives and years of unique experiences. Fundamentals and precedents should be seen as part of an education that sees students and faculty questioning, pushing against, and possibly even rejecting the past. This approach to design education will stimulate a rich... more

Authours: Emilie Brancato, Nancy Snow, Saskia van Kampen
Abstract
Design studio pedagogies challenge our assumptions about how, when, and why students write in ways that align well with language learning pedagogies. This roundtable will be framed around notions of collaboration and the intersection of writing  and making discovered while introducing WAC practices into first-year studio courses.

Our pilot study revealed that our collaboration was not limited to faculty and writing specialist. The not-so-overt collaborator are the students through... more

This was a talk that I gave at the Material Innovation Centre at OCAD University about my personal making processes and the materials which I use. Below is a small piece of my talk.

There is much talk in our fields about what materials should be used. There are economical, stability, durability, aesthetic and sustainability issues that need to be factored into the decisions that we make. What is sometimes overlooked is how the materials we use communicate meaning through the ways we physically work with them, how their meanings shift depending on the context within which they are... more

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Authors: Nancy Snow and Saskia van Kampen
Abstract
Purposeful writing activities that are integrated into making processes of studio curriculum not only bolster student learning but also contribute to more robust project outcomes. A pilot study conducted in first-year-design studios at OCAD University supported the generation of various techniques to specifically and clearly: augment the learning outcomes of projects, foster discipline-specific language learning, and build information gathering skills. Furthermore, as professor of school library studies... more

Authors: Nancy Snow and Saskia van Kampen
Abstract
Our first-year studio pedagogy augments style- and craft-based teaching approaches in order to prepare students for a future of design that considers complexity and interacting systems beyond those that directly relate to producing services or products.  It is our belief that comprehensive skills in thinking and making allow an individual to make better informed decisions.  First-year studio classes should be where design is demonstrated as more than enhancing content visually.  Design framed as... more

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Authors: Emilie Brancato, Nancy Snow & Saskia van Kampen
Abstract
This poster highlights the preliminary findings of a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) pilot project in design education exploring how the design concept of iteration—understood as a practice including research, (re)drafting, reflecting and revising—fosters critical engagement in the first-year Graphic Design classroom.  Critical engagement and discourse are fundamental to the process of transformative learning (Mezirow, 2003; Cranton, 2006). They are also fundamental to the process... more

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Authors: Nancy Snow & Saskia van Kampen
Abstract
In first year, the design educator’s role is to prepare beginning design students for their undergraduate experience and beyond. We will be discussing a study currently underway that investigates a course’s assignments that focus on research methods and levels of critical engagement in first year design students. We will also discuss how certain components are structured in order to stimulate autonomous learning. This is essential to us in graphic design at OCAD University as our approach to... more

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