Learning by making and doing

Design is increasingly complex. To best prepare students for this, and succeed in a rapidly changing profession, DSA firmly believes making and doing remain the signature studio-based learning method of practice–iteration that’s founded in craft skills using materials and techniques drawn from the last 50 years of design education.

Learning by making

Studio based learning in art and design schools builds knowledge through figuring out the perceptions and aesthetics of design through processes in drawing and making. This develops hand, eye and brain co-ordination to produce research, sketches and drawings, materials and technical exploration; all of which finds new possibilities–we learn the rules, then learn how to break them.

Learning by doing

Design education should not be prescriptive, it should be flexible enough to encourage making and doing iteration, modelling and prototyping using tacit knowledge–knowhow that’s transferred by doing something first, and understanding why by reflecting on the activity later. Learning how to ride a bicycle is a good example of tacit learning.

Making and doing nurtures imagination through creative experience. Part intuition, part theory, part practice. If the future of design is about how these experiences can transition to offering solutions for systematic and contextual challenges, perhaps practice as a skill (making) to practice following principle (doing) will continue to be fit for purpose in the 21st century.

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Teaching and Learning

DSA’s common basic framework unpacks the complexity of designing for people, technology and organisation, and structures the education journey as an interdisciplinary approach to learn and mature in a professional environment.

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