Cumulus Kolding

Job, John and Mo-Ling took the opportunity presented at Cumulus Kolding to present a paper, and to run a participative workshop designed to develop the design competency framework we spoke about at Cumulus Hong Kong. Our intentions were to build an international network of interested design educators, deepen our understanding of how the Design Competency Framework could contribute curriculum building in design, and elicit responses on the topic of mapping competencies across diverse design programs around the world.

We started by asking all 30 attendees to identify the disciplines they taught by sticking a pin in a global competency map and matrix. This revealed how competencies were connected to disciplines and in what concentreations. With clear clusters around visual design and product design we then asked participants to complete individual competency sheets to elicit their own backgrounds and skills.

In the third step we asked people to design a new curriculum based on competencies identified in step one but also to imagine what they would wish to teach in the future. Using the Design Competency Framework to scaffold curriculum has allowed educators to systematically construct hybrid and inter disciplinary programs and to think about the changing nature of design education. Design schools sometimes react very slowly to disciplinary changes, especially those that involve transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary evolutions. The DCF helps to structure the decision making process when the question is: what do students need to learn?

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