Augmenting existing studio methods for the future designer.


Authors: Nancy Snow and Saskia van Kampen
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 investigating and inquiring through the needs and motivations of the diverse range of humans that interface with it is more aligned with contemporary and future needs of both the design profession and societies at large.  Essentially we want our students to be able to analyze a situation/opportunity/issue and be able to determine which method(s) will best serve the investigations and explorations they will need to undergo in a given context.  The theories that we are presently researching include experiential learning and transformative learning.  These two theories support our curriculum development to advance learning styles that place more import on research and process in the first and second years of education at OCAD University.