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03/1: Alternative Problem Framing in Design Education
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Play Probes: Understanding young people through playful expressions
Design School Kolding, Denmark
Understanding young people can be a difficult matter when one is past that age. Stories of misunderstandings stemming from generational divides are ubiquitous. A virus, such as Covid-19, threatens to create a deeper generational divide and possibly lead to the problem reaching a magnitude not seen before.
This paper investigates how probes with play triggers can yield a deeper understanding of today’s youth. By analyzing the outcome of 54 youth-created play probes, clustered themes were identified, and the selected ones have been presented in detail. The prelimi-nary conclusions indicate that the play probes allow access to insights about young people using expressive formats such as construction and fantasy play.
This study contributes to design research by illustrating how probes can help learn about the inner workings of the young generations. Further, it suggests that adding play to probes can foster enhanced social interactions in families with teenage members.
Environmental Education in Protected Areas in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro: children as agents of empathy for and engagement with the cause of nature conservation
PUC-Rio (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro), Brazil
This article presents examples of environmental education programs and events run in protected areas of Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, and a brief overview of novel findings in the histo-ry, sociology, anthropology, and geography of childhood, converging with those from the area of education, in which children’s agency in cultural production, the diversity of children’s cultures, and multiple childhoods are recognized. This article outlines the importance of continued efforts to take children from private and public schools, from kindergarten to high school, to engage in play-ful activities in preserved nature, as demonstrated in the initiatives described. When the full po-tential of protected areas is harnessed for children’s development and education, in particular by helping them forge emotional bonds with space, which transform space into place and are essen-tial for human memory, then new ways of fostering empathy and engagement with nature conser-vation can come to light. These attributes kindle and excite curiosity, the desire to learn and dis-cover, boosting the learning process in an organic, spontaneous, and integrated way.
Reframing Ageing in Design Education: A Case Study
Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
People in the later stages of life make up one of the most differentiated and experientially rich groups in society which should make design for an ageing population one of the most stimulating areas for design practice. Yet ‘old’ age in the UK is largely framed as a problem to be solved; a position that design often (unconsciously) serves to perpetuate and reinforce. This case study will outline the context for an undergraduate course that seeks to overturn this negative frame that not only ‘others’ older people but also begets a paradoxical self-othering of our future selves. Picking up on the themes of power and voice in framing activities alongside the way problems are conceived and who defines them, the case study will outline the context, content and theoretical underpinnings of the course. It will also use student feedback and responses to demonstrate the value of addressing these issues at an undergraduate level and the ways in which this learning can be applied more widely to other areas of social design.
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