Six Qualities of SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN: Emerging Possibilities for K-12 Art Education Programs

By O'Donoghue, Dónal; Berard, Marie-France | Art Education, November 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Six Qualities of SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN: Emerging Possibilities for K-12 Art Education Programs


O'Donoghue, Dónal, Berard, Marie-France, Art Education


In this article, we consider socially engaged design practice, and examine its potential for informing design curriculum and pedagogy in K-12 art education programs. Our hope is to prompt discussion and debate about socially engaged design's potentiality for preparing students to participate in a world in which "nothing is truly, or can remain for long, indifferent to anything else" (Bauman, 2007, p. 6).

Before we begin, we should say that design pedagogy has been taken up in art education literature to date in several ways. For example, the question of what the nature of design is in art education has been considered (see Strickfaden & Heylighen, 2010; Vande Zande, 2007); suggested models for design education have been offered (see Carroll et al., 2010; Cloutts & Rusling, 2002; Lerner, 2005); rationales for the inclusion of design in education have been advanced (see Bequette & Bullitt, 2012; Carlisi, 2012; Vande Zande, 2010a); ways of thinking design in relation to environmental issues have been proposed (see Taieb, Hammami, Msahli, & Sakli, 2010; Vande Zande, 2010b); traditional design process and the nature of a designers work practices have been documented (see Marschalek, 2005); and the nature of design programs in secondary and tertiary education have been explored (see Appleby & Cox, 2003; Chick, 2000; Öztürk & Türkkan, 2006; Smith, 2011). While all of this work is useful for informing design education in K-12, one could argue that we need more literature on thinking about design as social and cultural practice, and particularly as a worldmaking practice. Moreover, given that the art historian Tom Holert-drawing on the work of literary theorist and political philosopher Michael Hardt-says, "hardly anybody can claim to be outside of design anymore" (Holert, 2010, p. 1), it is important that we continue to imagine other futures for design and design education in schools.

It is not our intention here to suggest a best practice approach for teaching socially engaged design practice. Given that every teaching situation is different insofar as it is context specific and depends on a range of variables, we think it is neither possible nor desirable to engage in such a project. That being said, there are ways in which we might begin to talk about this practice and imagine a curriculum in schools that pursues the possibilities that socially engaged design offers for ways of being in the world with others. For example, the Museum of Modern Art recently staged the large-scale Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000 exhibition (July 29 - November 5, 2012).1 This exhibition-which included design examples of school architecture, clothing, playgrounds, toys, games, childrens hospitals, nurseries, furniture, and books-invited us to think about how design shaped the experiences and life worlds of children in the past century, as well as how children served as subjects of design and as consumers of its outputs. In addition, the exhibition functioned to remind us that design has always performed a type of intervention into the lives of children. This exhibition demonstrated designs potential to shape our everyday experience of living, the communities that we build and in which we participate, and the world in which we live.

As these examples of socially engaged design show, this form of design complicates common-sense notions of what design is, what it does, and what it can do.2 Further, socially engaged design calls into question well-established and wellrehearsed critiques of design that charge it and its practitioners with "being complicit with capitalist commoditization and, ultimately, exploitation" (Holert, 2010, p. 1). A useful distinction, perhaps, between traditional understandings of design (and what it does) and more current understandings as exemplified in socially engaged design practice and theory is that the latter focuses less "on the world of design" and more on "the design of the world" in ways that are socially and ecologically responsible, sustainable, and ethical (Mau, Leonard, & Institute without Boundaries, 2004, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Six Qualities of SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN: Emerging Possibilities for K-12 Art Education Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.