Browsing by Author "Karolien, Perold-Bull"
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- ItemThinking about, with and through design : a cartography for transformation(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-12) Karolien, Perold-Bull; Costandius, Elmarie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Visual Arts.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Transformation in South African higher education has recently been a topic of major debate. Student protests have given rise to increased awareness of the inherent complexities involved in actively working towards a transformed, just and productive citizenry through higher education. How to actively move forward while negotiating these complexities at ground level, however, remains a challenge, specifically at Stellenbosch University. This research aimed to productively respond to this challenge. It therefore was anchored in a philosophy of immanence and relational ontology. From this perspective, it is impossible to separate the ontological, epistemological and methodological aspects of research from one another. Research has to be approached onto-epistemologically. This implied that I took on the challenge of practising the change I wanted to address through my teaching and learning within the institution, rather than studying it from the outside. I actively tried to flatten the boundaries between the dominantly defined subject positions I occupied in this context, i.e. that of designer, researcher and teacher. The central aim of the research was accordingly to critically explore design education in the context of transformation at Stellenbosch University through practising design research/education geared at productive change within the institution. In doing this, a range of critical cartographies emerged. In thinking about design, design in the South African context was mapped genealogically. In thinking with design, the entangled fields of research and education were similarly explored. In thinking through design, a variety of processes of subjectification that transpired through the doing of a specific case of design/research/teaching in the context of the Visual Communication Design curriculum in the Visual Arts Department of Stellenbosch University was deliberated on through employing the methodological tool of plugging-in developed by Jackson and Mazzei. Key theoretical concepts that sprouted in thinking about and with design were used to develop analytical questions that encouraged processes of dis-identification, i.e. resistance to the easy extraction of meaning from data, throughout this process. These concepts included Deleuze’s notion of difference in itself, Braidotti’s concept of affirmative ethics, Rancière’s idea of emancipation, Barad’s notion of intra-action, and Foucault’s concept of parrhesia or critical truth-telling. Negotiating the research in thinking about, with and through design – an inherently creative and relational practice – allowed embodied experience of how effecting productive transformation in the context of Stellenbosch University necessitated active commitment to experimentation with representational praxis in ways that challenged its traditional semiotic function. Such experience contributed to subjects becoming more attuned to recognising moments of transformation within and as part of their situated present. Consequently, it could be argued that the more these moments become felt through everyday teaching and learning, the more ‘real’ transformation could become in the broader institutional context. Experimentation with onto-epistemological praxis in other situated teaching and learning contexts at Stellenbosch University is hence recommended and warrants further research.