Donald Norman called for contributors on the PhD in design website at the end of 2020 who would participate in a very large (re)evaluation of design pedagogy world wide. Thanks in no small part to Norman’s influence as an attractor, two hundred people offered their service. Norman et al have now launched a website and a call for essays.
The effort is already being critiqued for its reliance on Human Centered Design (HCD) principals. HCD is thought to reinforce the anthrocentrism that has given rise to Global Climate Change and the looming geo-scale catastrophes that will lead to mass extinctions. A set of design practices that de-centers and de-privileges humans in favor of sustainable ecologies would be preferred by the critics.
I wonder how a human designer can detour a participatory design practice which would center non-human species’ needs. It seems crucial to develop and evolve these practices if we hope to sustain life (all life) on the planet together.
I still have to read through the website to see if this initiative affords the possiblity of a Post-Human Centered Design in the sense that Katherine Hayles brought forward in her book How We Became Post-Humanhttps://www.futureofdesigneducation.org/
This book is published in 2021 and is the result of a significant amount of work on the continent of Europe. There is another, similar effort to trouble and tease out the future(s) of design education that is being organized by Donald Norman and which is already drawing criticisms for the US-centricity of its foundational organization.
I have an abiding interest in the past, present, and future of design education. I tried to order this volume on the day I learned of it, last month, but the website would not complete the purchase. I will try again soon.
Links to the book:https://www.if-designfoundation.org/25097/?lang=en https://www.avedition.de/en/designing-design-education-whitebook-on-the-future-of-design-education/978-3-89986-341-3
Seymour Papert studied with – and critiqued and extended – Piaget as part of Papert’s research into early models for Machine Learning. Papert defined constructionism such that we learn through/by constructing artifacts that are meaningful to us and through/by sharing them with audiences who are meaningful to us.
I have seen a relationship between constructionism and art and design pedagogies. I also have seen harmonics with Montessori and with Froebel’s kindergarten.
One of the editors of this collected volume is Yasmin Kafai, who earned their PhD by studying the methods and impacts of Papert’s experiments in a Cambridge, MA, area school.
This collected volume “redefines constructionism in light of new technologies and new theories”. I look forward to reading it.