Responsible Designs in a Graduate Program Slowing Down for More Qualified Social Life

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Purpose / Objective: According to the literature review,in general, design is a discipline mostly producing for consumer culture. Basically, economic-based understanding has grown it since the Industrial Revolution. Responsibility in design became an issue in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was demand-oriented, based-on economic success. Since the second half of the 20th century,it has considered not only economical consequences, but also social, political, ecological and ethical consequences. Parallel to this, design education has commonly focused on commercial design and consumer culture, and responsibility in design became an issue in the design education in the 90’s, which has been still growing. The main purpose of this paper is to present outcomes and the process of a graduate course titled “Responsible Design 1” (RD1) led by the author in Art and Design Graduate Program at Yaşar University in Izmir, Turkey (Fall, 2013). It is as a case study in a design curriculum to create academic infrastructure in social, environmental, ethical issues and sustainability among art and design graduate students to contribute Socially Responsible Education.

Originality / Value: The context and outcomes of this course contains both theoretical and practical experience by an academic infrastructure in the Faculty of Art and Design. It is aimed to share here challenges of the process of gaining knowledge and awareness by practical applications within the Faculty. Conducting projects generated from responsible thinking and how to convert this approach into practice-based outcomes in order to spread awareness on “responsibility in design” is the main research question here.

Research Approach / Methodology / Design:  The approach of the course is to equip students both theoretical and practical knowledge in the sense. How to gain knowledge, to conceptualize and materialize ideas with responsibly design act? Based on this question, in 7-week, the theoretical issues such as; responsibility in design, ethics, environmental design, slow design, life span of products, ecology and politics, human-centered design were studied. National and international activist projects on service, system design were reviewed. Ted Talks speeches were listened; and relating documentaries were watched. In following 7-week, a practical implication completed: Students created “Six Activist Projects” in subjects of their research interest. These met with audience in an exhibition, held at the campus of Yaşar University at the end of the semester. Briefly, the program of the course was enriched by various visual sources, interrelating design discourses alive-study cases and eventually learning-by-doing method.

Findings / Results:  The complexity and challenges of responsible design act will be argued in this paper. By observing the design concepts, processes and outcomes of the six projects, it is found out that the design of them is basically simple, which sparks further practice-based design research. The results of RD1 have a potential to discuss on how to develop further responsible design-acts in education to create deeper social and ecological impacts by design. Also, slowing design education, rooted from Slow Movement - a living philosophy described by Honoré (2009) - will be suggested. On the other hand, the impact of the course on the students will be presented for their further studies regarding to responsible thinking and design act.  

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Sağduyulu tasarım, tasarım eylemciliği, sosyal sorumluluk sahibi eğitim, tasarım eğitimi, etik, yavaş tasarım, ekolojik tasarım, yavaşlatılmış okul

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