Design Education in the Open

Cross, Nigel and Holden, Georgina (2020). Design Education in the Open. Open Arts Journal, 1(9) pp. 149–161.




From its inception in the 1970s the UK Open University faced the challenge of teaching design to students at a distance and with open entry qualifications. Teaching design ‘in the open’ has required creative approaches to aid students in the acquisition of requisite skills, knowledge and values. OU design courses pioneered the teaching of design for a broad, non- specialist audience and in identifying the particular characteristics of design thinking, influencing not only OU students but wider teaching in the higher education sector. These principles have been applied during the development of design education at the OU from printed text and broadcast TV into the use of digital media and the Internet. Over time, technological changes, together with concomitant changes in HE generally, have brought different modes of design education closer together, but the OU continues to pioneer in design pedagogy.

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