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The Design Society
This paper is a contribution to design education for the general public. Primary school teaching students at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HIOA) have executed design tasks with the aim of achieving a greater consciousness around a sustainable future. This text has its vantage point in a specific design task, ‘Hands On’, where the students were to design a lamp made of wood and recycled materials. The design task consisted of re-designing an old lamp, which was used as the template to design a new one. The focus of the paper is on how material consciousness defines the design process from a sustainable perspective. The teaching example is illuminated through a dialogue with, amongst others, Richard Sennett’s term ‘engaged material consciousness’. The text shows how the craft is about more than just physical execution. Design competence is going through social changes, and this paper describes an example of teaching students to engage with the material world we live in. Methodically, the examination builds on research-by-design, where the practical, aesthetic work with the material is the deciding factor. The text exemplifies how being ‘hands on’ with the material is a fundamental way of learning through the design process.
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