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OUGD501 - Lecture 12 - Synthesis

Isn't art and design just about the visual?


To provoke you into thinking about design, rather than just 'doing it'.
To encourage you to pursue issues in more depth.
To form your own conclusions independently of practitioners and academics.
To experiment with ideas to see if they work in practice.

PEST Analysis.

Political, Economic, Social, Technological.

All component parts of the project engaging in one complex, dynamic process.

Informed engagement.

The realisation of theory in, and through, practice.


The purpose of theoretical discipline is the pursuit of truth through contemplation; its telos is the attainment of knowledge for its own sake. The purpose of the productive sciences is to make something; their telos is the production of some artefact. The practical disciplines are those sciences which deal with ethical and political life; their telos is practical wisdom and knowledge. (Cass & Kemmis 1986: 32)

'Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it'
Marx, Theses on Feurbach.

Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory. 

Having developed the model over many years prior, David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984. The model gave rise to related terms such as Kolb's experiential learning theory (ELT), and Kolb's learning styles inventory (LSI). In his publications - notably his 1984 book 'Experiential Learning: Experience As The Source Of Learning And Development' Kolb acknowledges the early work on experiential learning by others in the 1900's, including Rogers, Jung, and Piaget. In turn, Kolb's learning styles model and experiential learning theory are today acknowledged by academics, teachers, managers and trainers as truly seminal works; fundamental concepts towards our understanding and explaining human learning behaviour, and towards helping others to learn. See also Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and VAK learnings styles models, which assist in understanding and using Kolb's learning styles concepts.

Practitioners are right to worry that academic study of what is essentially a hands-on subject removes it from the reality of practice.

Designers often work intuitively, without knowingly applying theory. This module aims to get you to reflect on that process.

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