Design School: Reproductions of the Future

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Since the inception of the Bauhaus, two major contemporary socio-cultural and technological transformations have forced schools of design to revise their curriculum. Firstly, if we follow contemporary literature on what is called postmodernism, then the turn to the discourse of disciplinary autonomy and inter-disciplinarity can be associated with the student uprising of 1968; and the second transformation can be associated with the emergence of consumer culture and tele-communication technologies. The socio-cultural transformation then had three consequences for the teaching of design. Firstly, instead of the Bauhaus emphasis on 'design', 'design studies' sought the realisation of its potential in establishing a dialogue with methods and theories developed in scientific realms. Secondly, whereas a major objective of the Bauhaus was to replace the traditional notion of 'creativity' with that of 'invention', the latter's scope was framed either by typological and morphological research, or (and this is the third consequence) by the emergence of neo-avant-gardism supported by the rising inter-disciplinary research, and a positive attitude toward technology formulated by revisionist readings of the Modern design movement.The other contemporary development that has transformed the state of design education is the introduction of digital technologies in the 1990s, not only in the area of design, but also in the traditional ways of manufacture and representation. And if we accept the argument that digitalisation has negated the Humanist discourse on design theory and practice, then it is necessary to investigate the ways that digitally reproduced serial variability breaks away from the traditionally conceived rapport between designing, making, and representation. In this paper I examine how this amalgam of vectors is crafting the education of design, and I speculate on the challenge to the future by the practice of design derived from globalised information flows and the spectacle of image making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference
Subtitle of host publicationRegion and Isolation: The changing function of art & design education within diasporic cultures and borderless communities
EditorsAndrew Purvis
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780975836088
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
EventAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference 2012 - Central Institute of Technology, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
Duration: 03 Oct 201205 Oct 2012 (Conference website)


ConferenceAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference 2012
Abbreviated titleRegion and Isolation
OtherACUADS offers participation to the wider art and design sector by co-ordinating a theme-based annual conference (with rotating locations throughout Australia) as part of its professional development responsibility.
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