Everything in our man-made world has been and continues to be designed and redesigned. The consequence of our actions and furthermore the way in which we continue to engage with sustainability of cultures, societies, economies, environments and imagined futures is a concept that must be explored within the education of designers and consumers. This paper investigates the role of design education in empowering students to think critically about their man-made world, making decisions about how they live and the impact they can have both locally and globally. Secondary design education has a dual role, as the specialist education of future designers and the general education of knowledgeable consumers, in essence the development of a designerly citizen, as Fry (2007) suggests, “the user of the designed of sustainment requires as much creative and critical attention as the practitioner” (p. 23). The pedagogical contribution of design to the curriculum supports student immersion in authentic, real life problems that advance student agency when reconceptualising solutions. Considering the needs of others, developing designs and making decisions through the lenses of values and citizenship, underpins the ethical designer or design student. Case study examples will be presented, demonstrating how trainee Design and Technology teachers were directly engaged in design projects that foreground the capacity to respond creatively and appropriately to real life problems. Trainees placed ‘other’ rather than self at the centre and underpinned their designs with deep understanding of the role of values in developing appropriate solutions which have gained recognition throughout their wider community.
Making a Difference: Multidimensional Citizenship Education in a Changing World: Social Educators Association of Australia Biennial Conference 2008. SEAA Conference Proceedings (Newcastle, N.S.W. 20-22 January, 2008)