Does design education lack imagination?
Given the complex, relational nature of everyday problems, from traffic jams to border crossing to extreme weather, design education seems oddly myopic, circumscribed as a medium-specific, market-driven, technical skill. While trash heaps and sweatshops accumulate, design programs remain fixated on a curriculum fashioned at the height of Machine Age utopia.
Do the structures and disciplines of higher education, in fact, hinder creative thinking and inter-disciplinary collaboration? Could design education be optimized to foster and support entrepreneurial initiatives like upcycling, repair workshops, resource-sharing, retrofitting, recoding and reconceptualizing space?
This panel discussion brings together design educators and practitioners from Australia and the US to discuss the conceptual and practical challenges facing design education in the 21st Century. The discussion coincides with Design in Flux, an exhibition of work and research by faculty in the new Design Futures program at Griffith University in Brisbane.