Thursday, June 19, 2008

Global Design Education

When teachers try to include some global perspectives in their curricula they often introduce just the ancient forms of other cultures. This would be like representing an image of American culture characterized as cowboys and Indians or the Godfather. When we add design education to the curriculum this easily opens up the possibilities of discussions about contemporary forms in other cultures.

Two contemporary designers who should be included in any design education curriculum are Hayao Miyazaki (left) (the Walt Disney of Asia) and Super Mario Bros & Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto (right). These two designers are hugely influential in contemporary culture not only in their own countries but around the world.

There are tons of resources available online on both of these designers. Miyamoto is often called the "father of modern video gaming". Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan. His later film, Spirited Away, was the first anime film to win an Academy Award. The special features segments on DVDs of Miyazaki's films are useful learning resources.

Global cultures are not all from the historical past - they are living, vibrant, and influencing our lives today.

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