Design school: Undisciplined and irresponsible

Jonathan Bremner, Paul Rodgers

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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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. First, 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 information and communication technologies. The socio-cultural transformation then had three consequences for the teaching of design. First, 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. Second, 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, representation, promotion, selling and consumption. 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 we examine how this amalgam of vectors iscrafting the education of design, and we 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 publicationCrafting the Future: Proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference
Place of PublicationGothenburg
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789197954150
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event10th European Academy of Design Conference - The Röhsska Museum and HDK (School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg), Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 17 Apr 201319 Apr 2013


Conference10th European Academy of Design Conference
Abbreviated titleCrafting the Future
Internet address


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