Values of crafting in design education.


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The Design Society

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VALUES OF CRAFTING IN DESIGN EDUCATION This paper demonstrates the manner in which craft enhances discussion in design education and how ‘experienced knowledge’ from materialised form processes raises perspectives relating to interactions between people and products. The sustainable perspective of the crafting approach to design education is connected to the perception and awareness of materials and forms in ways that also go beyond the making of physical products. By choosing craft as the core subject of this paper, the authors raise questions about: (i) the role of materialisation in design thinking and (ii) the concepts of culture and aesthetics in design. The perspectives of Howard Gardener’s theory of “multiple intelligences” (2011), and ‘material-agency’, from the two last decades of practice-based and practice-led research, are used to frame the discussion in this paper. The use of the concept ‘material-agency’ emphasises the role of craft and the way it describes how materials and materialisation processes affect our thoughts. The research is based on the master’s course, Product Aesthetics and Culture, at IPD, HiOA. Qualitative methods were chosen to document and communicate craft processes as well as discussions with the students. The analyses show how theory and practice are weaved together to enrich the students’ understanding of the manner in which craft in design serves as practical intellect. Crafting in design education has great potential in terms of students’ concern towards creating meaningful products for people, products grounded in cultural understanding. Keywords: Crafting, culture, perception, maker-space, experienced knowledge.



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