Using Social Engagement to Inspire Design Learning

de Vere, I and Phillips, R 2015, 'Using Social Engagement to Inspire Design Learning', in Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson (ed.) Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE 2015), Loughborough, United Kingdom, 3-4 September 2015, pp. 304-309.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Using Social Engagement to Inspire Design Learning
Author(s) de Vere, I
Phillips, R
Year 2015
Conference name EPDE 2015: Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise
Conference location Loughborough, United Kingdom
Conference dates 3-4 September 2015
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE 2015)
Editor(s) Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Publisher Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
Place of publication United Kingdom
Start page 304
End page 309
Total pages 6
Abstract Social design and design for need are important frameworks for establishing ethical understanding amongst novice product designers. Typically, product design is a value-adding activity where normally aesthetics, usability and manufacturability are the key agendas. Howard [1] in his essay Design beyond commodification discusses the role of designers in contributing to cultural expressions designed to influence consumer aspirations and desires. He argues that designers are impelled to participate in the creation of lifestyles that demand the acquisition of goods as a measure of progress and status. As emerging consumers, student designers tend to reflect this consumer culture in their work, seeking to add marketability by focusing on aesthetic development. However value adding can occur in many different manifestations, often outside commercial expectations and the students experience. Projects that may be perceived as having limited market potential can often have significant personal impact for both recipient and designer. Social engagement provides a valuable insight for design students into the potential of design to contribute solutions to societal well-being, rather than serve market forces. Working in a local context can enhance this, with unlimited access to end users, their environs and the product context, enabling the development of user empathy and a more integrated collaborative process. The Fixperts social project discussed in this paper has proved to be an effective method of engaging undergraduate students in participatory design within their local community. This model for social engagement has provided an unprecedented learning experience, and established a strong ethical framework amongst Brunel design students.
Subjects Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Design for Social Impact
product design education
co-design
Copyright notice Copyright © 2015 Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
ISBN 9781904670629
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