Exploring critical citizenship and globalization discourse to conscientize industry expectations of design education at Universities of Technology

Botes, Herman (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Design educators are expected to demonstrate a high level of confidence in the industry for which they are preparing students. When I reflected upon my own design industry and higher education experience while engaging with critical citizenship and globalization discourse, my confidence in and perceived authority of the design industry became challenged. I came to the realization that it could be useful to view the demands from the neoliberal design industry on design education through the lenses of critical citizenship and globalization. The insights gained from such an investigation could assist design educators involved in developing new design programmes to conscientize the expectations set by the design industry. It is argued that the conscientizing of expectations set by the design industry could be achieved by focusing on conscientizing design graduates that may in turn influence the design industry at large. The main aim of the study is to create a conceptual framework that supports theoretical concepts that could conscientize industry expectations of design education. The main research question thus questioned how critical citizenship and globalization discourse could be used to conscientize industry expectations of design education at Universities of Technology (UoTs). The objectives of the study are twofold: to identify, firstly, current industry expectations of design graduates from a University of Technology in South Africa and, secondly, to identify theoretical concepts in critical citizenship and globalization discourse that could be used to conscientize industry expectations of design education at UoTs in South Africa. Theoretical concepts in critical citizenship and globalization discourse were identified through a literature review; the identified concepts were used to develop a conceptual framework. The empirical section of the research design consisted of a case study that included industry interviews, alumni surveys and my own experience as the main sources of data. The theoretical concepts identified in the literature review of critical citizenship and globalization discourse were used to structure an inductive content analysis of empirical data collected to identify possible theoretical concepts that can be used to conscientize industry expectations of design education. The picture that emerges from this study creates a worrying image of a profession in crisis. I identified the urgent need to instil compassion into design education so that our alumni can intuitively act against situations where their dignity is under threat. This can be done by means of inclusion of critical citizenship and globalization discourse in curriculums of design programmes at UoTs. The theoretical concepts in critical citizenship and globalization discourse that can possibly be used to conscientize industry expectations of design education at UoTs are identified as: transformation, diversity, racism, social disparity, visual culture, civic identity, civic engagement, ethical relationships, shared participation, problemsolving, critical thinking, and imagination skills. I also conclude that the debate regarding the conscientizing of the design industry is of such importance that it should not be limited to only critical citizenship and globalization discourse ‒ the debate must go further and deeper.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar word van ontwerp-dosente verwag om 'n hoë vlak van vertroue te toon in die industrie waarvoor hul hul studente oplei. Terwyl ek sou meedoen aan die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering, het ek besin oor my eie ervaringe rakende die ontwerp-industrie en hoër opvoeding en sou uiteindelik my vertroue in en vermeende inspraak sover dit die ontwerp-industrie aangaan, bevraagteken. Daar is tot die besef gekom dat dit voordelig kan wees om die eise wat die neoliberale ontwerp-industrie aan ontwerp-onderrig stel, te beskou vanuit die hoek van kritiese burgerskap en globalisering. Die insigte verwerf deur middel van so 'n ondersoek kan ontwerp-opvoedkundiges betrokke by die ontwikkeling van nuwe ontwerp-programme van diens wees in hul poging om die verwagtinge gestel deur die ontwerp-industrie sensitief te verskerp. Daar word aan die hand gedoen dat so 'n sensibilisering betreffende die verwagtinge gestel deur die ontwerp-industrie haalbaar is deur te fokus daarop om ontwerp-graduandi insgelyks te sensibiliseer en wat op sy beurt die ontwerp-industrie breedvoerig sal raak. Die hoofoogmerk van die studie is om 'n konsepsuele raamwerk daar te stel welke teoretiese konsepte ondersteun wat 'n sensitiewe bewussyn kan kweek sover dit industrie-verwagtinge rakende ontwerp-onderrig aangaan. As sodanig het die hoofnavorsingsprobleem dus gevra na hoe die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering aangewend kan word om industrie-verwagtinge insake ontwerponderrig by Universiteite vir Tegnologie (UvT's) te sensibiliseer. Die oogmerk van hierdie studie is tweevoudig: om, eerstens, huidige industrie-verwagtinge rakende ontwerp-graduandi van 'n UvT in Suid-Afrika te identifiseer en, tweedens, om teoretiese konsepte rakende die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering te identifiseer wat aangewend kan word om industrie-verwagtinge rakende ontwerp-onderrig by UvT's in Suid-Afrika sensitief te verskerp. Teoretiese konsepte in die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering is geïdentifiseer deur middel van 'n literatuuroorsig; die geïdentifiseerde konsepte is naamlik aangewend om 'n konsepsuele raamwerk te ontwikkel. Die empiriese afdeling van die navorsingsontwerp het bestaan uit 'n gevallestudie wat onderhoude in die industrie, opnames onder alumni asook my eie ervaringe rakende die ontwerp-industrie as hoofbronne van data ingesluit het. Die teoretiese konsepte geïdentifiseer as deel van die literatuuroorsig rakende die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering is aangewend om struktuur te verleen aan 'n induktiewe inhoudsanalise van empiriese data versamel om moontlike teoretiese konsepte te identifiseer wat aangewend kan word om industrie-verwagtinge rakende ontwerponderrig te sensibiliseer. Die beeld wat deur hierdie navorsing geskets is, skep 'n onrusbarende beeld van 'n professie wat 'n krisis deurmaak. Ek het die dringende behoefte geïdentifiseer om toegeneentheid en deernis by te bring in ontwerp-onderrig sodat ons alumni intuïtief kan optree in gevalle waar hul menswaardigheid in die gedrang sou kom. Dit kan bereik word deur die insluiting van kritiese burgerskaps- en globaliseringsdiskoerse in die kurrikulums van ontwerp-programme by UvT's. Die teoretiese konsepte in die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering wat moontlik aangewend kan word om industrie-verwagtinge rakende ontwerponderrig by UvT's te sensibiliseer, is geïdentifiseer as: transformasie, diversiteit, rasisme, sosiale ongelykheid, visuele kultuur, burgerlike identiteit, burgerlike verpligtinge, etiese verbintenisse, deelgenootskap, probleemoplossing, kritiese denke asook vaardighede met betrekking tot die inspan van die verbeelding. Daar is voorts tot die slotsom geraak dat die debat rondom die kweek van 'n sensitiewe bewussyn in die ontwerp-industrie van sodanige belang is dat dit nie beperk behoort te word tot alleen die diskoers rondom kritiese burgerskap en globalisering nie ‒ die debat móét eenvoudig verder en meer indringend gevoer word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96830
This item appears in the following collections: