Design, beyond service and product - educating for new vistas of design professions

The aim with this project is to create a proposal for a highly relevant design education preparing the students to conduct designerly, collaboratively constructive design processes that address complex challenges ensuring sustainable, qualitative and aesthetic aspects.

In society today, we face a number of significant challenges that include both industry's future development and the government's and municipalities' future ability to create security for and with the citizens. Currently "design" is practiced in many "new" contexts and with many "new" issues where the experience of users, consumers, and patients are major aspects of the activities, services, offerings, etc. Examples are the development of support services, patient journeys, democratising public processes, ensuring a resilient proposal, etc. These practices are often labelled service design, social innovation, sustainable design, transformation design and more. Often people with no training as designers are engaged in this work. There is research on these practices, but this has not yet been used as foundation for a second-cycle education on artistic foundation in Sweden.

Konstfack and the supporting organisations sees a need and an opportunity for an academic institution to provide an education that integrates the students' skill to practice design in the above-mentioned very complex settings. This includes having the ability to make relevant judgements, insight into current research and broad knowledge of the underlying theories and discourses. This prepares the students to make contributions in the current practises, as well as to re-think and develop these further.

The aim with this application is to create the resources to thoroughly explore and learn about a diversity of current, related, cutting-edge practices, as well as approaches and experience within contemporary research and theories. The starting point is service design, what the final proposal will be named is to be defined during the project. We will analyse these, make proposals for educational approaches and explore these together with the broad range of partners and scholars. The result will be a proposal for a highly relevant design education preparing the students to conduct designerly, collaboratively constructive design processes that address complex challenges ensuring sustainable, qualitative and aesthetic aspects.

Participants: Katarina Wetter Edman, Martin Avila, Bo Westerlund (project leader) and over ten organisations, consultancies and companies.
Funder: KK-Stiftelsen (The Knowledge Foundation)
Duration: February 2016 through September 2017

Updated: 26 August 2016
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