Prats, Miquel and Garner, Steven
Making meaning: developing an understanding of form in distance design education.
In: DeSForM2009, the 5th international workshop on design & semantics of forms and movement, 26-27 Oct 2009, Taipei, Taiwan.
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Design education throughout the world provides students with a variety of experiences that help them develop an understanding of form and shape. The conventional model of such education requires students to participate in studio and workshop-based projects to develop skills through the creation of models and prototypes. However, with the increase in distance education worldwide we need to explore new ways for students to create and manipulate form remotely. This paper presents new work at the Open University, UK which set out to engage design students in form-making from a distance. Participants were given access to technical and design support that took rough sketches of chair designs and converted these into tangible scale models which were mailed back to the students. Several cycles of this activity generated data on how such supported modelling activity stimulated students' creative ability, design knowledge and motivation. This paper proposes new priorities for distance design education.
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