From Bauhaus to DESIS: exploring solution -­ focused methodology for social design education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Solution -- focused, Civic Education and Design Lab


What are the social responsibilities of design schools? In order to explore this question, we employed action search methodology. Through our on-going collaborations with different design schools, our main research goal is to investigate the social role of designers and further of design schools and the design education system as a whole. ‘Ageing in place’, the overarching concept for these labs, was to enable participants to experience and question how the life-course approach to ageing could inspire new community design processes. So far, we have engaged different types of design schools and in this paper, we reflect on one of our design labs with a vocational training college in Hong Kong. We worked with staff members and students teaching them how to employ design as a means to engage housing estate residents in their neighbourhood. In‐depth interviews and observations of stakeholders who participated in our design actions have been conducted throughout the process. To conclude, three tactical actions on how an individual designer’s responsibilities relate to the systems of design education will be suggested and shared: confrontational tactics, empathy and imagination of replacement.

Source Publication

DRS//CUMULUS 2013, 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, 2013 May 14-17, Oslo, Norway

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