Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Decades of Design Education in the UK

The concept of ‘designerly ways of knowing’ emerged in the UK in the late 1970s in association with the development of new approaches in design education. Professor Nigel Cross (right) first clearly articulated this concept in a paper which was published in the journal Design Studies in 1982. He has since published a book by the same name - ‘Designerly Ways of Knowing’ (left).

Nigel Cross is Professor of Design Studies at the UK’s Open University and a leading international figure in the world of design research. With academic and practical backgrounds in architecture and industrial design, he has conducted research in computer-aided design, design methodology and design education since the nineteen-sixties.

His current principal research interest is in design cognition, based on studies of expert and exceptional designers. He has been a member of the academic staff of the pioneering, multi-media Open University since 1970, where he has been responsible for, or instrumental in, a wide range of distance education courses in design and technology. For many years Professor Cross was Head of the Department of Design and Innovation at the Open University – a department with one of the strongest research records in Art and Design in the UK.

The field of design has grown considerably, as both design education and design research have developed together into a new discipline of design. Professor Nigel Cross is one of the most internationally-respected design researchers and this book is a revised and edited collection of key parts of his published work from the last quarter century. Designerly Ways of Knowing traces the development of a research interest in articulating and understanding the nature of design cognition, and the concept that designers (whether architects, engineers, product designers, etc.) have and use particular ‘designerly’ ways of knowing and thinking. There are chapters covering the following topics: the nature and nurture of design ability; creative cognition in design; the natural intelligence of design; design discipline versus design science; and, expertise in design.

Other recent books by Professor Cross include the third edition of his successful textbook on Engineering Design Methods (Wiley, 2000), and he has been a co-editor of books on Research in Design Thinking, Analysing Design Activity and Expertise in Design. His total publications list includes more than 120 items, plus many Open University course texts, broadcasts, etc. Professor Cross is also Editor-in-Chief of the international journal of Design Studies.

No comments: