Conceiving Spaces for Learning – A Literature Critique

A Literature Critique (Written 2014 for INF536)

This discourse explores the six publications listed below in an attempt to give voice to the challenges facing learning institutes in conceiving spaces for learning that are, in the end, likely to meet the ever-evolving needs of learners well into the future.

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins e-books.

Dovey, K., & Fisher, K. (2014). Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage, The Journal of Architecture, 19:1, 43-63

Hatchuel, A., & Weil, B. (2003). A new approach of innovative design: An introduction to C-K theory. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/24204/a_new_approach_of_innovative_design_an_introduction_to_c-k_theory

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston: Pearson

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82 (3), 330–348

Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33.

 

Introduction:

The design of learning environments is undergoing major upheaval driven by changes in pedagogy (Dovey & Fisher, 2014). Students now interact and learn in physical and virtual spaces where new cultures of learning are being explored (AITSLEDUAU, 2012). Thought leaders such as John Seely Brown discuss a need to completely rethink the learning scape and invent new types of institutional forms (DMLResearchHub, 2012). Seely Brown poses a design question by asking what our education institutes will look like five or ten years from now? To perceive these future learning spaces, that will meet the ever evolving needs of learners, may be perceived as a wicked design problem.  These are design problems that are ill-formed, the information is confusing, there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing (Buchanan, 1992). What we do know is that learning spaces often reflect the people and learning approach of the times, so spaces designed in the past are not likely to fit perfectly with students in present or future education (Oblinger, 2006). In fact, a classroom design that does not correspond to the teaching method used primarily creates considerable strain for learners and teachers (Arndt, 2012). To look for ways forward, learning Institutes are grappling with how future classrooms should be designed and architects are questioning how they should respond in their practices to changing pedagogy (Dovey & Fisher, 2014).

Design:

Educators reflecting on the interplay between theories of learning and theories of design will most likely ponder if they can be active participants in the design process that develops new learning spaces. Indeed, if architects are asking how they should respond to changes in pedagogy then stakeholders in learning institutes should be asking how they can contribute their deep understanding of teaching and learning to the design process. Design has been perceived as being the purvey of designers (McIntosh, 2014) and yet thought leaders in design are now declaring that “design has become too important to be left to designers” (Brown & Katz, 2011, p. 381) and that we can all be designers. Architects are also calling for high levels of collaboration (Fisher, 2007). Yet the novice designer may be left struggling to develop a working understanding of design, especially when also trying to develop an understanding of design thinking. An exploration of the literature shows that there is no obvious consistency in the definition of design itself and that this leads to confusion for the reader when trying to develop a coherent understanding of design and design thinking. Indeed one learns that there is a need to unpack concepts of design before exploring the concept of design thinking.

A theoretical exploration of design theory is initially confusing for the reader unfamiliar with the process of design, due to the difficulty in relating the language (semantics) and mode of reasoning used to real world problems. A reading of Kuratko, Goldsworthy and Hornsby (2012) provides a definition of design that is palatable for the novice designer. These authors state very purposefully that design is a “process that converts ideas into form, whether that is a plan of action or a physical thing” (p. 103). These authors state that the artefact that is produced can be a product, service, process or business model. This idea is supported by a description of design as being a highly synthetic process beginning with a brief and ending with a product (Razzouk & Shute, 2012, p. 330). Thus the reader can easily perceive that design is about making things via a process.

However, tension does appear in the literature when transitioning to a more theoretical perspective of design. For instance, according to C-K Theory (Hatchuel & Weil, 2003) design is a form of reasoning where the designer explores a space of concepts and a space of knowledge. According to this theory, design is also a process that results in the generation of new concepts and new knowledge. This publication also describes design as a process by which a concept generates other concepts or is transformed into knowledge.

This publication grapples with many abstract ideas but it does attempt to offer a definitive definition of design by stating that it is a process by which unknowns can intentionally emerge from knowns. The authors state that the creation of new knowledge is a necessity of any design process or “Design is the process by which K→ C disjunctions are generated, then expanded by partition or inclusion into C→ K conjunctions.” (Hatchuel & Weil, 2003 p.8) An understanding of these concepts assists with developing an understanding of other explorations of design and the design process. For example, Dovey & Fisher (2014) ask what type of architecture shows a capacity to adapt to change and remain open to new pedagogies, designing what these authors describe as resilient schools.

The tension in these descriptions of design is perhaps best perceived as a dualism between thinking and doing in design (Kimbell, 2012). The tension that exists in literature lies in the struggle to view design as something that the designer does or the way they think.  For key stakeholders from learning institutes this dualism may be confusing and lead to the perception of design and a fuzzy concept, whereas it is predicted that in ten years the world’s leading companies will have entrepreneurial designers in their employ (Kuratko et al, 2012).

Design Thinking

The challenge facing learning institutes in conceiving learning spaces for the future lies in the ability of key stakeholders in education to become involved in the design process. One can argue that these key stakeholders need to not simply know what is meant by design but also be empowered by the design process. They need to become what in literature is described as Design Thinkers. However, what is meant by this term is not always clear.

What is Design Thinking? The designer David Kelley described his workplace culture by saying “we moved from thinking of ourselves as designers to thinking of ourselves as design thinkers. We have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.” (Tischler, 2009). These words imply that design thinking is a way of thinking as well as methodology. Once again a dualism exists as to how to describe the process of design and in this particular instance design thinking.

The terminology suggests that Design Thinking is a way of thinking. However, this understanding is often contradicted breaking down design thinking to a step wise process. Thus design thinking may be described as a process that involves paraphrasing the problem, divergent thinking, information gathering, customer interaction and prototyping (Kuratko et al, 2012). It is also viewed as an analytical creative process that provides opportunities to experiment, create prototypes, gather feedback and redesign (Razzouk & Shute, 2011). Or, the use of design methods by multidisciplinary teams to solve a broad range of challenges, including stages of needfinding, brainstorming and prototyping (Seidel & Fixson, 2013). With such an approach design thinking is distilled down to a process, a way of doing. Again the dualism of design as doing or thinking reappears.

When exploring design thinking some authors also attempt to describe the characteristics of the designer. For example Razzouk and Shute (2012) state that a designer is able to visualise, is multifunctional and amongst other characteristics has an affinity for teamwork. Kuratko et al (2012) also provide a description of designerly characteristics – humility, focus and flexibility.  Brown explores design thinking in depth and states that it is deeply human and the phrase is “a way of describing a set of principles that can be applied by a diverse people to a wide range of problems” (Brown, 2009, loc 123). Or, design thinking is a thought process and there are benefits to learning how to think like a designer (Brown & Katz, 2011).

The discord apparent in literature appears to stem from the struggle of how to describe how designers think. An apparent approach is to describe the observable behaviour exhibited by designers and the processes that they might follow, depending on the context of their work. Underlying this desire to describe the steps involved in design thinking may be a desire to formulate the design method; to ‘scientise’ design (Cross, 2000) and perhaps design thinking.

No matter how one might choose to understand design and design thinking, the design process supported by design thinking has the potential to solve wicked and real-world problems (Leifer, Plattner & Meinel, 2013).  Design is the mixing of what currently exists with a possible future to be built (Kuratko et al, 2012) which, in the context of this discourse, includes possible undiscovered learning spaces.

With regard to designing learning spaces our knowledge base of 21st century pedagogy must also inform the design process.

Design, Design Thinking and Pedagogy.

Spaces are themselves agents for change. Changed spaces will change practise. (Oblinger, 2006).

Theories of design and theories of learning intersect at a space that might be described as Built Pedagogy. This concept has been defined as the architectural manifestation of educational philosophies (Monohan, 2000 & 2002) or the ability of space to define how one teaches (Oblinger, 2006). It sits at the intersection of spatial practice and learning theories (Rook, 2013). This concept is a surprise to be encountered in literature and provides a meaningful space in which to reflect on the tension and surprises that exist at the intersection between design and pedagogy.

One of the challenges facing 21st century educators, architects and designers is to reform their worldview of classroom design that was most likely to have been formed in classrooms that were more suited to pedagogy based on behaviourist theories.  Educational objectives have changed from a teacher-centred 20th century factory model and therefore learning spaces must address the educational needs of learners in the 21st century (Blackmore, 2010). What is required now are learning spaces that acknowledge the knowledge economy where new approaches to teaching and learning are required (Cornell, 2002). Certainly, many educators continue to teach in classrooms that are better suited to a pedagogy that delivers to a passive audience.

Traditionally, learning spaces have been designed by architects and designers that replicate contemporary architecture but not explorations of pedagogy. Such a design process that ignores pedagogy often leads to the reproduction of the industrial model of classrooms (Blackmore et al, 2010). This is a concern as it is clear that student-centred pedagogies are constrained by traditional classrooms (Dovey & Fisher, 2014). Thus it will take an innovative approach to rethink both pedagogy and classroom design for what some are calling the knowledge era or conceptual era of education. Kenn Fisher in the essay titled Pedagogy and Architecture (Fisher, 2007) states directly that via collaboration, consultation and an inclusive design process “where architects learn more about pedagogy and teachers more about design” (p. 57) that a common ‘spatial literacy’ may emerge to inform the design of future learning spaces. This idea is a real world example of the call for both the design team and client to practise design thinking (Brown, 2011) and collaborate on the design process.

Where should educators start in this process of conceiving learning spaces of the future?  As illustrated in the blog post titled Problem Spaces (Keily, 2014) they should start small. As this post shows that small changes in learning spaces can lead to insightful observations. Even the student comment recorded in this post “That is not what classrooms look like.” opens a window to worldviews about classroom design and how perhaps redesign can change behaviour. Design thinking is about immersion and empathy and gaining such insights is the start of the design thinking journey.

“The mission of design thinking is to translate observations into insights, and insights into the products and services that will improve lives.” (Brown, 2011, p. 382)

As recommended by Brown (2009) to move design thinking out of the studio, workers should experiment frequently as well as observe, prototype and brainstorm. Thus key stakeholders in education may overcome some of the challenges of re-conceiving spaces for future learners and learn to engage confidently to this shared responsibility of design.

References

 

AITSLEDUAU. (2012, May 7). 21st Century Education [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/nA1Aqp0sPQo

Arndt, P. A. (2012). Design of Learning Spaces: Emotional and Cognitive Effects of Learning Environments in Relation to Child Development. Mind, Brain and Education (6) 1

Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J., & Aranda, G. (2010). The connection between learning spaces and student learning outcomes: a literature review. Melbourne: Department for Education and Early Childhood Development.

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by design. Journal of product innovation management, 28(3), 381-383.

Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5–21.

 

DMLResearchHub. (2012, Sept 18). The global one schoolhouse: John Seely Brown [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/fiGabUBQEnM

Fisher, K. (2007). Pedagogy and architecture: Kenn Fisher introduces emerging international trends in school planning and design, and the range of structures being explored across Australia. Architecture Australia, Sept-Oct, 2007, 96(5), p.55-57

Keily, S. (2014). Problem Spaces ­­­[Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/austeach/2014/08/03/blog1/

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part II. Design and Culture, 4(2), 129-148. http://www.designstudiesforum.org/dsf/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kimbell2-berg.pdf

Leifer, L., Plattner, H., Meinel, C. (2013). Design thinking research: Building innovation eco-systems. Springer, London

Leonard, R. (2007). Spaces for learning: Richard Leonard urges architects to embrace the new education pedagogies and to “use the physical environment as a major reform element”. Architecture Australia, 96(5), 59-66.

McIntosh E. (2014). Module 1: Design theory within education contexts. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf536/module-1-design-theory-within-education-contexts/

Oblinger, G. (Ed.) (2006). Space as a change agent. In G. Oblinger (ed.), Learning Spaces. Ch. 1. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/learning-spaces

Rook, M. (2013). The Intersection of spatial practices and learning theories. Retrieved from http://innovation.ed.psu.edu/2013/07/the-intersection-of-spatial-practices-and-learning-theories/#sthash.8216qOIl.dpuf

Monahan, T. (2000). Built Pedagogies & technology practices: Designing for participatory learning. PDC 2000 Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference. Retrieved from http://www.torinmonahan.com/papers/pdc2000.pdf

Monahan, T. (2002). Flexible space & built pedagogy: Emerging IT embodiments. Inventio 4(1).

Tischler, L (2009). IDEO’s David Kelley on design thinking. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/1139331/ideos-david-kelley-design-thinking

TedTalks (2009). Tim Brown urges designers to think big. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/UAinLaT42xY

Zeiler, W. (2010). Thinking outside the box: Integral design and C-K concept creation. First International Conference on Design Creativity, ICDC 2010 29 November – 1 December 2010, Kobe, Japan. Retrieved from https://www.designsociety.org/publication/30253/thinking_outside_the_box_integral_design_and_c-k_concept_creation

 

 

 

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Travelling Through Spaces of Learning

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A Critical Reflection:

Without constraints design cannot happen (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby, 2012).  It’s just as well we have design thinking on our side because in the realm of designing spaces for learning that leverage good pedagogy there are many constraints that will pummel the process. Design thinking (Razzouk  & Shute, 2012) promises to be able to generate innovation and creativity to overcome constraint and in turn generate novel solutions to wicked problems. And thus I began a journey through this subject “Designing Spaces for Learning” under the expert guidance of Ewan McIntosh.

What have I learnt … much! This is a subject of learning that every educator should take as we have probed pedagogy and learning spaces from many different angles.

I was intrigued by the work of Hatchuel & Weil (2003) who provided a mode of reasoning (Design Theory) that encourages ‘design thinkers’ to act in very creative ways. ..unlocking those design solutions that seem elusive and unknown. The idea is to explore ‘concepts’ and using divergent thinking to create new ‘knowledge’ that can be applied to problems such as the design of learning spaces.  As a teacher I wonder at students being taught these skills to survive in a world saturated in knowledge.

A key point of learning in this subject is that we are all designers. Other key issues we have discussed range from space as a change agent, creative cultures, learning centred environments and beyond. It has been an extremely rich and academically rigorous journey.  Another key theme has been good pedagogy and students at the centre of their learning.  Design Theory is even finding it’s way in to school curriculum as a way of providing students with those ever important 21st century learning skills.

The big question to ponder is whether re-imagined learning spaces improve student outcomes.  These spaces undoubtedly leverage good pedagogies and research is beginning to show that some reforms are improving student learning (Barrett, Zhang,  Moffat & Kobbacy, 2013).  The loud message for me is that new pedagogies do require new learning spaces and much teaching is being hindered by old built pedagogies. The other loud message is that architects and designers are working on designing new spaces for learning (Dovey & Fisher, 2014).  Leonard (2007) calls for architects to embrace  new education pedagogies and to use the physical environment as a major reform element. These professionals are grappling with designing these spaces which powerful opportunities for professional educators to join the quest. We are the masters in education and should be having an input into how these spaces function. We need to become design thinkers. No doubt many of us teach in spaces of learning that even though they are architect designed do not quite hit the mark.

The other powerful learning experience for me was to organise a creative coffee morning with Graham Clark.  On this morning I had the pleasure to mingle with fellow educators, architects, designers, writers…innovators. The core message was that education has a lot to learn from other creative cultures and their ways of thinking should be injected into our system of education. We need to collaborate to design and create new ways of doing. We do have a surprising need for strangeness (TedTalks, 2013).

A key question asked by this course was “What processes are required to make the shifts from teacher or institution centred environments?”  This is an extremely important issue to grapple with because even with the advent of new technologies much teaching is not student centred.  Mandated curriculum is not student centred and is still very much content focussed. How to make the change – perhaps through redesigned spaces?  Certainly through redesigned curriculum and pedagogy.  I think one way is though acknowledging that space and pedagogy do go hand in hand and one does effect the other. Many of us teach in classrooms better designed for old pedagogies. I have certainly experienced the liberation of teaching in well designed spaces  and have seen how new spaces inform my teaching as well as improve my students reactions to my teaching.

What of the future?  Who knows… but we do need to begin to challenge a system that puts us in classrooms of the old. We need to challenge our own assumptions about how spaces for learning look and function…indeed how learning looks.  Even the assumption that form follows function is to be challenged. The beauty of design thinking is that though a cycle of observation, experimenting, prototyping and redesigning we can make space and pedagogy look very different. Change is needed. Disengaged and disenchanted students will be the reminder. We may use built pedagogies as tools to initiate and leverage those changes. The task ahead is to lead by intentional design.

One final thought of reflection: Should learning spaces be viewed as a tool  to support learners as problem solvers – in dialogue with each other? If so then the thoughts of Helen Haste (HarvardEducation, 2009) are perhaps relevant.  Haste views the problem solver in dialogue – operating socially.  Perhaps space can be viewed as a tool to support the social problem solver. The problem solver is then, as mentioned by Haste, transformed through the use of the tool – in this case the designed learning space.  With such thinking we begin to see learning space as an extremely important part of any learning journey.

In conclusion, one of the magical parts of  this M.Ed journey has been studying alongside a few key people. A huge thanks goes out to Graham Clark, Heather Baillie, Matt Ives and Bec Spink.  Thanks for helping me disrupt some zones of familiarity. To Bec….congratulations on your finish.

Please gift me with your thoughts.

References:

Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, 59, 678-689.

Dovey, K., & Fisher, K. (2014). Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage. The Journal of Architecture, 19(1), 43-63.

HarvardEducation (2009). Technology and Youth: Problem Solver vs Tool User (part 1 of 4). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/YZRoS5QlJ44

Hatchuel, A., & Weil, B. (2003). A new approach of innovative design: An introduction to C-K theory. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/24204/a_new_approach_of_innovative_design_an_introduction_to_c-k_theory

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson

Leonard, R. (2007). Spaces for learning: Richard Leonard urges architects to embrace the new education pedagogies and to “use the physical environment as a major reform element”. Architecture Australia, 96(5), 59-66.

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important?. Review of Educational Research, 0034654312457429.

TedTalks (2013). Maria Bezaitis: The surprising need for strangeness. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/os69gEFXUW4

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How might we collaborate to (co)design?

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The following post forms part of a case study that I am writing for my M.Ed studies.

Project Summary

This is a summary of  a project proposal that I worked on collaboratively with other stakeholders during 2013. The project hoped to build relationships between the museum and secondary education sector while bringing intentional design to a learning space.  All specifics of the proposal have been removed but it serves as a good template of how collaboration might be built between secondary educators, cultural institutions and creatives such as architects.  It was also this project proposal that led me to undertake my M.Ed (Knowledge Networks & Digital Innovation) including Designing Space for Learning.

Summary

The purpose of the original proposal was to present a possible co-design project between a Victorian Museum, a Victorian University and a Melbourne based architectural practice. The suggested collaborations would allow the Museum to harness the expertise of University Architects in exploring a number of issues surrounding the design of learning spaces. Firstly, how learning spaces may be strategically designed to promote engagement in learning and secondly, how these physical spaces might inform any future teaching and learning activities that might be developed. The redesign was to support future pedagogies that might take place in a museum space undergoing redesign.

A case was also presented for advancing the teaching and learning practice that took place on site at the Museum, so as to support a Museum of The Future.

Whilst it was clear that the Museum would benefit from the suggested tertiary sector partnership, budget limitations did need to be explored. For this project the University hoped that the Architect practice would assist with limitations of budget by seeking industry backing.

The suggested collaboration

I had been approached informally by “Patrick” from a Melbourne based architect firm proposing that we work with them collaboratively on a design project with the aim of exploring:

  • Learning in architecturally designed living learning environments.

This initial discussion led to informal but exploratory discussions with “Susan” (an Architect) from a University’s Department of Architecture and Built Environment.  Susan is a lecturer with strong interests in education and community engagement who has led co-design projects with primary school students in Melbourne and surrounding areas. The proposed project with the Museum would involve a partnership with Susan and her colleagues from the University with some support and guidance from the Architects, if appropriate. Susan enthusiastically prepared a brief that has been omitted from this blog post but it used ideas of working with secondary or primary school students. This style of co-design is appearing more frequently in literature on design of learning spaces.

It was recommended that the Museum collaborate with the University to establish workshops that called upon the design expertise of the Universities’ department of Architecture and Urban Design where:

  • Architecture and Urban Design students would be briefed by Museum educators on learning requirements at the Museum, exploring external and internal learning spaces.
  • University Architecture students, with professional mentorship from The Architect, respond to our brief by possibly fabricating a modified learning space.
  • F-6 students will be called on to engage with and respond to this temporary learning space.
  • F-6 students will offer feedback to architect students and The Museum educators on the modified learning space.
  • Architect students may teach/discuss concepts of design with young F-6 students.

Relevance to the museum strategic plan

This project had real connections to  Museum strategic plan. In particular:

  • Establishment of collaborative partnerships that would help develop and grow the Museum educational expertise and knowledge, thereby assisting in remaining a leading contributor to education and tourism.
  • Strengthened partnerships with adult education and tertiary institutions, in particular from regional areas.
  • Encouraging establishment of cross-departmental projects within the Museum such as education, facilities and exhibition design.
  • Strengthening of the Museum’s ability to deliver 21st century learning experiences and relevant content through greater awareness of intentional design of learning spaces.

Such a collaborative project with the University would invite Museum personnel into a learning journey leading to changes in the ways Museum personnel interact with and utilise current learning spaces. The project may also inform how learning spaces in the Museum may look in the future.

Relevance to education

To generalise, professional educators are aware of the idea that student engagement is strongly affected by the physical teaching and learning environment. Thus a tour of modern schools will see attempts at developing spaces that allow for student centred, collaborative and project based learning. Students in modern classrooms are now viewed as prosumers (i.e. producers and consumers of knowledge) rather than simply consumers of knowledge.  Architect designed spaces are commonly designed to allow students to collect, curate and produce content.  Victorian Government policies (DEECD)  describe this as  anywhere, anytime access to knowledge.

At a state level, The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) recognises that school design can influence both innovative teaching practices and student outcomes. Published literature from DEECD specifically calls for deeper thinking about how spaces are designed and used for learning. Importantly, the DEECD publications see built environment as including both external and internal spaces.  To reflect this, external spaces in school environments are also seeing redevelopment with the intention of increasing a sense of well being and connectedness with the learning community; whilst reflecting concepts of sustainability. It would seem pertinent that the Museum engages meaningfully in similar exploration of external and internal spaces, so as to ensure that key stakeholders continue to see the Museum as a leading contributor to the education and tourism sectors.

Pedagogy @ the Museum

This suggested University/Museum project would be complemented by the Museum’s own additional explorations of alternative teaching and learning pedagogies such as Design Thinking. Currently, education experiences offered by the Museum follow a knowledge deficit model that does not recognise the learner’s prior knowledge and creative ability. Current Museum learning spaces support pedagogy that treats learners as an audience. With a Museum of The Future in mind, I perceive a strong need to challenge the current approach to our student audiences and a need to develop a vision for learning that promotes scientific curiosity and the learning of scientific skills. After all, science is more than just knowledge, it is a way of seeing, doing and thinking underpinned by curiosity and exploration. Science is a creative process.

Thus, I would like to suggest that the professional development offered by the Notosh group would be highly relevant to our needs and well worth exploring.  Notosh work globally to bring about change in educational settings, including cultural organisations, working recently with the State Library of Victoria and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Two programs that Notosh offer of particular relevance to Scienceworks are:

Creating space for innovation  and Design thinking 

Active exploration of immersive pedagogies, alongside a reflective exploration of available learning spaces, would undoubtedly inform the Museum on ways to build and shape the Museum precinct. By working with the University to explore what Susan might describes beautifully as Live Learning Environments (discussed below), we may increase our chances of developing a Museum that will continue to be widely known and frequently used as an educational resource.

Such a project would be underpinned by a philosophy of creative education at the Museum.

This project was underpinned by a  project proposal as envisaged and authored by the architect Susan. This section of the proposal has been omitted from this blog post. What made this project an exciting proposal was the potential of collaboration between educators and architects so as to inform each other on the design of learning spaces.  The project also had the potential of a co-design process involving students.

 Project Summary

In summary, this project would have a number of phases, for example:

  • Museum/University/Architect partnership to explore the design of engaging learning spaces. This phase would view Museum educators as learners.
  • Museum/University/Architect partnership to explore the design of external learning environments with a focus on how these spaces may be planned to facilitate learning.
  • Museum/University/Architect partnership to explore creative learning environments.

The richness of this learning journey may be enhanced by professional training as offered by Notosh, also looking at creative learning environments and professional learning in design thinking.  Such exploration may result in reinvigorated internal/external learning spaces at the Museum and transformed learning through innovation, increased engagement and widened community participation.

Suggested readings:

Future Schools Conference 2014 Conference.

Exploring Learning Spaces and Digital Classrooms.

Digital Learning Spaces, DEECD document

Notosh workshops:

Castles in Scotland

Historic Scotland (Flickr images)

Reformatted and re-written for this blog post by Simon (04/10/2014)

Please gift me with your feedback.

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How might we collaborate to (re)design?

learning spaceI have never thought of myself as a designer even though as an educator I design learning experiences every day. Things like learning for adolescent students; which is pretty tough stuff.  I prototype my ideas everyday, redesign and on the odd occasion I get it right.  In fact teachers will talk of lesson design. Pedagogy is at a meta-level all about design.  But to take ownership of the label ‘designer’ seems strange even though in the tertiary sector educators are employed as ‘learning designers’. Go figure.

In my last place of employment, I was involved in pedagogical and strategic discussions that led to the redesign of a major learning space that previously had been used as an auditorium space.  I was able to speak into this space of museum education and help drive just a little bit the redesign process; although not as significantly as I would have liked – that’s a whole other blog post. Anyhow, this auditorium space was reconfigured to allow  student centred workshops to take place, rather than large group presentations. In effect this was a simple experiment in learning space design – reshaping a space to impact on student learning. The space did not quite work out how I, as an educator, had envisaged but still it allowed us to house new approaches to teaching and learning.

In response to this redesigned space I was called upon to work collaboratively with other museum educators and a P12 school to redesign the learning that took place in this space.  The story of how we went about this is detailed in the following document “Reasons For The Seasons Learning Story”. This project hints at the power of collaboration and how stakeholders from different sectors can work together to improve student learning.

Reasons for the Seasons Learning story

This is just a small way in which student learning has been improved by a design approach, in this case an intentional attempt to bring hands on learning to the museum sector.

Please gift me with your feedback.

 

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War Room Mentality

War room

War room

How to cope in the knowledge economy? During my Masters of Eduction program I have had to develop strategies to cope with a deluge of information that flows into my digital learning environment via my knowledge networks.  All of my digital data is curated into evernote.  This information is filed according to topic but also heavily tagged. However, I am also finding it extremely useful to  curate some of this collected information out into the world and onto my walls.  The image to the left shows my lounge room wall, post-it-notes on post-it wall pads. The inspiration for such an approach comes from Google Ventures who provide strategies to set up a project war room. Notosh give suggestions on building a project nest.

My study colleague Matt Ives shows his war door which is decidedly more organised than my wall.  This is a rich learning task and surely a valuable strategy for any learner trying to cope in their digital learning environment.

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Coffee, Creativity and Design

coffee morning

Melbourne people love their coffee and a strole though the laneways and streets of inner Melbourne will allow you to see people congregating in a hundred different cafés.  This vibrant café and coffee culture is an integral and exciting part of our city.

With this in mind, organising a coffee morning to discuss creativity, design and design thinking was going to be a cinch – as congregating over coffee to meet socially is what us Melbournians do. So, last Sunday 14th September, a colourful group of people congregated at The Huddle in North Melbourne to talk about creative cultures.  No agenda was set, no topic of discussion rehearsed; we simply met.  Over coffee. The only prompt being:

A coffee morning to explore design thinking and creative cultures.

Approximately 16 attendees identified their fields of interest as being teaching, educational design, science communication, maker-designer, adult education, linguistics – sociology, art, architecture, artist – civil engineer and teacher-librarian. This is exactly what we aimed to achieve – to gather together a group of creatives from a variety of professional backgrounds.

For a full report on this event see the Storify post: Creative Coffee – Melbourne #INF536. A meeting of creatives to discuss design thinking and the design of learning spaces.

This initiative was a collaborative effort between myself and Graham Clark; who has also commented on this event at his blog site Clouding Around. I work in secondary education whilst Graham works as a learning portal coordinator in adult education. By working together we hoped to be able to leverage our efforts and attract a wider variety of participants through our individual social and professional networks.

Ideas we discussed: –

  • The concept of a creative coffee meeting as illustrated by the video Edinburgh Coffee Morning.  This reinforced the informal structure of these creative gatherings.
  • Design thinking prompted by Tim Brown’s call for Designers to Think Big. This is exciting stuff!

It was invigorating to listen to people from different backgrounds offer their perspectives on creativity and the design process. One consensus – we are all designers.

  • What is design thinking? Most participants were not familiar with this the idea of design thinking.
  • The growth of maker spaces and SpaceTanks Studio – a creative studio. Check it out – it’s an innovative space.
  • Communities of practise – as exemplified by TeachMeets and creative coffee mornings.
  • Movements that are heading away from traditional education.
  • Concepts of Pedagogy and Knowledge. Questioning what is knowledge in our so called knowledge economy.
  • Architecture and design. Patrick from Thomson Adsett is very keen for us to participate in an online meeting with their education manager .
  • Hybridisation – the process of creating new things.  This idea linked in well with concepts of design thinking where new knowledge is discovered via processes of design.
  • http://pigeonholemagazine.com as a creative space. It’s refreshing to see creative educators at work in their communities.

Outcomes:

We experienced an exciting morning of rich discussion and those that attended are very keen for the meets to continue. One Twitter post: –

Additionally, a handful of people who could not attend expressed an interest in attending future meetings. In particular, a couple of academics involved in exploring the relationship between learning and space are very keen to contribute. This is exciting stuff!

Why?

Our focus remains to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds that are enthused about exploring the design, creativity and the design of learning environments to support modern pedagogies. We want to create a culture where educators learn principles of design from designers and designers can learn about education and pedagogy from professional educators.  This is not just teachers offering PD to teachers or designers working with designers.  It is about a sense of discovery. It is about the surprising need for strangeness: –

As elegantly discussed in this video “When we are at our best, we reach out to people who are not like us, because when we do that we learn from people who are not like us.” and when we meet with people that are not like us we might ask:

What can we do together that benefits us both?

So, watch out for future creative coffee mornings organised by myself and Graham Clark. We are feeling very excited about this initiative and invite you to participate in future meets, however you can.  We are planning to use  the hashtag #ccyarra What do you think?

Please gift me with your thoughts and comments and stay tuned for our next creative coffee morning. Register here to be kept informed of future events.

Simon.

 

 

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Design and Pedagogy

My previous post offers a literature critique written as an assessment piece for my M.Ed. It’s not a great piece of writing but I did learn an enormous amount while undertaking and completing the research for this piece. My Evernote folder now holds 6o pieces of literature collected during this deep and rich learning journey, exploring design thinking, processes of design and pedagogy.

A real gift was to discover the work of Kim Dovey & Kenn Fisher from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne.  Their publication provides an engaging exploration of the link between planned learning spaces and pedagogy. Any educator will find this publication a great piece to reflect on and perhaps deepen their understanding of classroom practice. It provided some pleasant surprises:

Of note:

The traditional classroom is a product of a teacher-centred pedagogy…

In the past I always grimace at ‘badly designed’ classrooms. However, this reading  has made me realise these ‘egg-crate’ classrooms were designed for a purpose. A purpose that now grates on us all.

Student centred pedagogies are seriously constrained by traditional classrooms…

This I know, as I have taught in traditional classrooms as well as those that are more flexible. The difference is stark. What always intrigues me is how classroom design changes both student and teacher behaviours.

Changes in the design of learning spaces is being driven by changes in pedagogy…

Behaviourist through to cognitive and now constructivist. This we know but the tension that exists between design and pedagogy is intriguing.

Pedagogically supportive school architecture…

This is a lovely thought. This comment reminds me of the many downright awful classrooms that I have taught in and the need for classrooms that support good pedagogy. This is an issue that is deeper than funky furniture and nice colours. Space can define how we teach: Stop and think on this idea.

Dovey & Fisher also presents a typology of student-centred pedagogies and a matching typology of learning spaces.  This is very interesting and worth further exploration. Perhaps in a future post. 🙂

What is particularly intriguing  is the description of the classroom as a ‘disciplinary technology‘ – “where the gaze of authority works to produce a normalised and disciplined subject” (p. 43).  The paper talks about links between design and behaviour – practises of power. This idea certainly strikes a chord with me. I have learnt from experience that at times putting in place a student centred pedagogy leaves some (many?) students feeling abandoned and ill-at ease. What I conclude from this is that students and teachers need to be supported in transitioning from one style of pedagogy to another. What then if they find themselves in redesigned classroom? Or, transitioning from new back to old…it happens.

The goal of Dovey & Fisher (2014) is to deepen the engagement of both architects and educators in issues of design and pedagogy.  Their writing certainly has achieved this from me. My eyes have been opened by a study of design thinking and the need for educators to develop an awareness of the link between learning space design and pedagogy

Please gift me with your thoughts and reflections.

References:

Dovey, K., & Fisher, K. (2014). Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage, The Journal of Architecture, 19:1, 43-63

 

 

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Conceiving Spaces for Learning

A Literature Critique

This discourse explores the six publications listed below in an attempt to give voice to the challenges facing learning institutes in conceiving spaces for learning that are, in the end, likely to meet the ever-evolving needs of learners well into the future.

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins e-books.

Dovey, K., & Fisher, K. (2014). Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage, The Journal of Architecture, 19:1, 43-63

Hatchuel, A., & Weil, B. (2003). A new approach of innovative design: An introduction to C-K theory. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/24204/a_new_approach_of_innovative_design_an_introduction_to_c-k_theory

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82 (3), 330–348

Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33.

Introduction:

The design of learning environments is undergoing major upheaval driven by changes in pedagogy (Dovey & Fisher, 2014). Students now interact and learn in physical and virtual spaces where new cultures of learning are being explored (AITSLEDUAU, 2012). Thought leaders such as John Seely Brown discuss a need to completely rethink the learning scape and invent new types of institutional forms (DMLResearchHub, 2012). Seely Brown poses a design question by asking what our education institutes will look like five or ten years from now? To perceive these future learning spaces, that will meet the ever evolving needs of learners, may be perceived as a wicked design problem.  These are design problems that are ill formed, the information is confusing, there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing (Buchanan, 1992). What we do know is that learning spaces often reflect the people and learning approach of the times, so spaces designed in the past are not likely to fit perfectly with students in present or future education (Oblinger, 2006). In fact, a classroom design that does not correspond to the teaching method used primarily creates considerable strain for learners and teachers (Arndt, 2012). To look for ways forward, learning Institutes are grappling with how future classrooms should be designed and architects are questioning how they should respond in their practices to changing pedagogy (Dovey & Fisher, 2014).

Design:

Educators reflecting on the interplay between theories of learning and theories of design will most likely ponder if they can be active participants in the design process of new new learning spaces. Indeed, if architects are asking how they should respond to changes in pedagogy then stakeholders in learning institutes should be asking how they can contribute their deep understanding of teaching and learning to the design process. Design has been perceived as being the purvey of designers (McIntosh, 2014) and yet thought leaders in design are now declaring that “design has become too important to be left to designers” (Brown & Katz, 2011, p. 381) and that we can all be designers. Architects are also calling for high levels of collaboration (Fisher, 2007). Yet the novice designer may be left struggling to develop a working understanding of design, especially when also trying to develop an understanding of design thinking. An exploration of the literature shows that there is no obvious consistency in the definition of design itself and that this leads to confusion for the reader when trying to develop a coherent understanding of design and design thinking. Indeed one learns that there is a need to unpack concepts of design before exploring the concept of design thinking.

A theoretical exploration of design theory is initially confusing for the reader unfamiliar with the process of design, due to the difficulty in relating the language (semantics) and mode of reasoning used to real world problems. A reading of Kuratko, Goldsworthy and Hornsby (2012) provides a definition of design that is palatable for the novice designer. These authors state very purposefully that design is a “process that converts ideas into form, whether that is a plan of action or a physical thing” (p. 103). These authors state that the artefact that is produced can be a product, service, process or business model. This idea is supported by a description of design as being a highly synthetic process beginning with a brief and ending with a product (Razzouk & Shute, 2012, p. 330). Thus the reader can easily perceive that design is about making things via a process.

However, tension does appear in the literature when transitioning to a more theoretical perspective of design. For instance, according to C-K Theory (Hatchuel & Weil, 2003) design is a form of reasoning where the designer explores a space of concepts and a space of knowledge. According to this theory, design is also a process that results in the generation of new concepts and new knowledge. This publication also describes design as a process by which a concept generates other concepts or is transformed into knowledge.

This publication grapples with many abstract ideas but it does attempt to offer a definitive definition of design by stating that it is a process by which unknowns can intentionally emerge from knowns. The authors state that the creation of new knowledge is a necessity of any design process or “Design is the process by which K→ C disjunctions are generated, then expanded by partition or inclusion into C→ K conjunctions.” (p. 8). Hatchuel & Weil, 2003 p. An understanding of these concepts assists with developing an understanding of other explorations of design and the design process. For example, Dovey & Fisher (2014) ask what type of architecture shows a capacity to adapt to change and remain open to new pedagogies, designing what these authors describe as resilient schools.

The tension in these descriptions of design is perhaps best perceived as a dualism between thinking and doing in design (Kimbell, 2012). The tension that exists in literature lies in the struggle to view design as something that the designer does or the way they think.  For key stakeholders from learning institutes this dualism may be confusing and lead to the perception of design as a fuzzy concept, whereas it is predicted that in ten years the world’s leading companies will have entrepreneurial designers in their employ (Kuratko et al, 2012).

Design Thinking:

The challenge facing learning institutes in conceiving learning spaces for the future lies in the ability of key stakeholders in education to become involved in the design process. One can argue that these key stakeholders need to not simply know what is meant by design but also be empowered by the design process. They need to become what in literature is described as Design Thinkers. However, what is meant by this term is not always clear.

What is Design Thinking? The designer David Kelley described his workplace culture by saying “we moved from thinking of ourselves as designers to thinking of ourselves as design thinkers. We have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.” (Tischler, 2009). These words imply that design thinking is a way of thinking as well as methodology. Once again a dualism exists as to how to describe the process of design and in this particular instance design thinking.

The terminology suggests that design thinking is a way of thinking. However, this understanding is often contradicted by describing design thinking as step wise process. For instance design thinking may be described as a process that involves paraphrasing the problem, divergent thinking, information gathering, customer interaction and prototyping (Kuratko et al, 2012). It is also viewed as an analytical creative process that provides opportunities to experiment, create prototypes, gather feedback and redesign (Razzouk & Shute, 2011). Or, the use of design methods by multidisciplinary teams to solve a broad range of challenges, including stages of needfinding, brainstorming and prototyping (Seidel & Fixson, 2013). With such an approach design thinking is distilled down to a process, a way of doing. Again the dualism of design as doing or thinking reappears.

When exploring design thinking some authors also attempt to describe the characteristics of the designer. For example Razzouk and Shute (2012) state that a designer is able to visualise, is multifunctional and amongst other characteristics has an affinity for teamwork. Kuratko et al (2012) also provide a description of designerly characteristics – humility, focus and flexibility.  Brown explores design thinking in depth and states that it is deeply human and the phrase is “a way of describing a set of principles that can be applied by a diverse people to a wide range of problems” (Brown, 2009, loc 123). Or, design thinking is a thought process and there are benefits to learning how to think like a designer (Brown & Katz, 2011).

The discord apparent in literature appears to stem from the struggle of how to describe how designers think. An apparent approach is to describe the observable behaviour exhibited by designers and the processes that they might follow, depending on the context of their work. Underlying this desire to describe the steps involved in design thinking may be a desire to formulate the design method; to ‘scientise’ design (Cross, 2000) and perhaps design thinking.

No matter how one might choose to understand design and design thinking, the design process supported by design thinking has the potential to solve wicked and real-world problems (Leifer, Plattner & Meinel, 2013).  Design is the mixing of what currently exists with a possible future to be built (Kuratko et al, 2012) which, in the context of this discourse, includes possible undiscovered learning spaces.

With regard to designing learning spaces our knowledge base of 21st century pedagogy must also inform the design process.

Design, Design Thinking and Pedagogy:

Spaces are themselves agents for change. Changed spaces will change practise. (Oblinger, 2006).

Theories of design and theories of learning intersect at a space that might be described as Built Pedagogy. This concept has been defined as the architectural manifestation of educational philosophies (Monohan, 2000 & 2002) or the ability of space to define how one teaches (Oblinger, 2006). It sits at the intersection of spatial practice and learning theories (Rook, 2013). This concept is a surprise to be encountered in literature and provides a meaningful space in which to reflect on the tension and surprises that exist at the intersection between design and pedagogy.

One of the challenges facing 21st century educators, architects and designers is to reform their worldview of classroom design that was most likely to have been formed in classrooms that were more suited to pedagogy based on behaviourist theories.  Educational objectives have changed from a teacher-centred 20th century factory model and therefore learning spaces must address the educational needs of learners in the 21st century (Blackmore, 2010). What is required now are learning spaces that acknowledge the knowledge economy where new approaches to teaching and learning are required (Cornell, 2002). Certainly, many educators continue to teach in classrooms that are better suited to a pedagogy that delivers to a passive audience.

Traditionally, learning spaces have been designed by architects and designers that replicate contemporary architecture but not explorations of pedagogy. Such a design process that ignores pedagogy often leads to the reproduction of the industrial model of classrooms (Blackmore et al, 2010). This is a concern as it is clear that student-centred pedagogies are constrained by traditional classrooms (Dovey & Fisher, 2014). Thus it will take an innovative approach to rethink both pedagogy and classroom design for what some are calling the knowledge era or conceptual era of education. Kenn Fisher in the essay titled Pedagogy and Architecture (Fisher, 2007) states directly that via collaboration, consultation and an inclusive design process “where architects learn more about pedagogy and teachers more about design” (p. 57) that a common ‘spatial literacy’ may emerge to inform the design of future learning spaces. This idea is a real world example of the call for both the design team and client to practise design thinking (Brown, 2011) and collaborate on the design process.

Where should educators start in this process of conceiving learning spaces of the future?  As illustrated in the blog post titled Problem Spaces (Keily, 2014) they should start small. As this post shows, small changes in learning spaces can lead to insightful observations. Even the student comment recorded in this post “That is not what classrooms look like.” opens a window to worldviews about classroom design and how perhaps redesign can change behaviour.  Design thinking is about immersion and empathy and gaining such insights is the start of the design thinking journey.

“The mission of design thinking is to translate observations into insights, and insights into the products and services that will improve lives.” (Brown, 2011, p. 382)

As recommended by Brown (2009) to move design thinking out of the studio, workers should experiment frequently as well as observe, prototype and brainstorm. Thus key stakeholders in education may overcome some of the challenges of re-conceiving spaces for future learners and learn to engage confidently in this shared responsibility of design.

References:

AITSLEDUAU. (2012, May 7). 21st Century Education [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/nA1Aqp0sPQo

Arndt, P. A. (2012). Design of Learning Spaces: Emotional and Cognitive Effects of Learning Environments in Relation to Child Development. Mind, Brain and Education (6) 1

Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J., & Aranda, G. (2010). The connection between learning spaces and student learning outcomes: a literature review. Melbourne: Department for Education and Early Childhood Development.

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by design. Journal of product innovation management, 28(3), 381-383.

Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5–21.

DMLResearchHub. (2012, Sept 18). The global one schoolhouse: John Seely Brown [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/fiGabUBQEnM

Fisher, K. (2007). Pedagogy and architecture: Kenn Fisher introduces emerging international trends in school planning and design, and the range of structures being explored across Australia. Architecture Australia, Sept-Oct, 2007, 96(5), p.55-57

Keily, S. (2014). Problem Spaces [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/austeach/2014/08/03/blog1/

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part II. Design and Culture, 4(2), 129-148. http://www.designstudiesforum.org/dsf/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kimbell2-berg.pdf

Leifer, L., Plattner, H., Meinel, C. (2013). Design thinking research: Building innovation eco-systems. Springer, London

Leonard, R. (2007). Spaces for learning: Richard Leonard urges architects to embrace the new education pedagogies and to “use the physical environment as a major reform element”. Architecture Australia, 96(5), 59-66.

McIntosh E. (2014). Module 1: Design theory within education contexts. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf536/module-1-design-theory-within-education-contexts/

Oblinger, G. (Ed.) (2006). Space as a change agent. In G. Oblinger (ed.), Learning Spaces. Ch. 1. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/learning-spaces

Rook, M. (2013). The Intersection of spatial practices and learning theories. Retrieved from http://innovation.ed.psu.edu/2013/07/the-intersection-of-spatial-practices-and-learning-theories/#sthash.8216qOIl.dpuf

Monahan, T. (2000). Built Pedagogies & technology practices: Designing for participatory learning. PDC 2000 Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference. Retrieved from http://www.torinmonahan.com/papers/pdc2000.pdf

Monahan, T. (2002). Flexible space & built pedagogy: Emerging IT embodiments. Inventio 4(1).

 Tischler, L (2009). IDEO’s David Kelley on design thinking. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/1139331/ideos-david-kelley-design-thinking

TedTalks (2009). Tim Brown urges designers to think big. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/UAinLaT42xY

Zeiler, W. (2010). Thinking outside the box: Integral design and C-K concept creation. First International Conference on Design Creativity, ICDC 2010 29 November – 1 December 2010, Kobe, Japan. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/publication/30253/thinking_outside_the_box_integral_design_and_c-k_concept_creation

Please gift me with your comments and reflections.

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Designing for the Unknown

C-K TheoryIf you are up for a challenge to begin learning about design theory then try starting with the wiki page on C-K Theory.  The following Vimeo clip will also help with your explorations:

Designing the unknown | C-K Theory Presentation from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo.

Then step up for a more in-depth exploration of C-K theory by Hatchuel and Weil (2003). This reading will certainly get you thinking about designing for the unknown. These authors have also published real world examples of how this framework can be used to direct the design process. They discuss the process as used by the European Space Agency to assist the design strategy of a new combustion system using Martian CO2 (Hatchuel & Weil, 2004).

I have summarised my engagement with these readings in the image at the top of this post; which is also housed on Flickr. In summary C-K Theory is a design theory or mode of reasoning by which new knowledge and new insights can emerge. So, if we are aiming to design new learning spaces in schools, then by framing our explorations around C-K Theory we will hopefully learn something we did not know at the start of the journey. This is a highly creative approach to which innovation is central and within the context of designing learning spaces can assist the design thinker to seek the unknown.  We have been playing with the idea that many design briefs for school development do not venture into this realm of exploration and innovation.

What if all learning spaces, including classrooms, emerged via a design process that has creativity at its core and resulted in breakthrough solutions? What would the resulting learning spaces look like?

Your comments and personal insights are welcome.

References:

Hatchuel, A & Weil, B. (2003). A NEW APPROACH OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN: AN INTRODUCTION TO C-K THEORY. Retrieved http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/24204/a_new_approach_of_innovative_design_an_introduction_to_c-k_theory

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. InDS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/19760/c-k_theory_in_practice_lessons_from_industrial_applications

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Looking for Change by Design

The following design brief has been prepared for #INF536 following a series of observations recorded at a local health and fitness business.  These are my observations and do not reflect the thoughts of the business observed. 

Design Brief 2

 

Design Brief 2

References:

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by Design. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 28(3), 381-383.

McGregor, E. (2014) Design thinking Process. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf536/module-3-studio-teaching-and-space-design/3-5-design-thinking-process/

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