Design education, design research

Holden, Georgina; Schadewitz, Nicole and Zamenopoulos, Theodore (2009). Design education, design research. In: Designs on Elearning, 02-04 Sep 2009, Online.



There has been considerable interest and research in the design of learning and teaching environments but to what extent does this knowledge enable us to create suitable environments for the teaching and learning of design? This paper will consider the opportunities for new ways of teaching and learning design offered by Web2 technologies, outlining the JISC-funded AtelierD project at the Open University (OU). This project takes its learning and teaching cues from the notion of the ‘Atelier’ and applies these to the development of online design communities. The atelier concept facilitates the combination of well-established practice in art and design education with the affordances of Web 2.0 tools to create a powerful new approach to learning and teaching design.

A team of academic staff are engaged on the two year, AtelierD project, to explore the use of a number of web2 tools and evaluate their potential for widespread use in design teaching. The second year of the project will see the use of an integrated virtual atelier, OpenDesign Studio, which is to be used on a new online course in Design Thinking, launching in February 2010, and expected to have over 1000 students in its first year.

In this paper the authors will discuss the preliminary findings from the first year of the project , in which discreet elements of the atelier have been trialed with students to inform and shape their development. These elements include commercial resources such as Facebook and SecondLife as well as in-house, but publicly available resources such as the knowledge mapping software ‘Compendium’ and FM conferencing. The authors will also discuss the thinking behind ‘OpenDesign Studio’ and the ways in which it will be used by learners taking the new course.

The paper addresses the topics of Virtual Learning Environments in Art Design and Communication, Innovations in teaching and learning in Art, Design and Communication and The Social and Educational Interface.

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