How can communication literacy reinforce holistic design practices?
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Original versionNadiya, Gulden T: HOW CAN COMMUNICATION LITERACY REINFORCE HOLISTIC DESIGN PRACTICES?. In: Buck L, von Bohemia E, Grierson H. DS 104: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2020), 2020. The Design Society https://doi.org/10.35199/EPDE.2020.77
The article explores how the knowledge of communication theory can help design practitioners to achieve a more critical understanding of the contexts they encounter during their professional careers and lifelong learning paths. It is discussed how certain concepts of communication studies may benefit both interpersonal interactions and the design process itself. Autoethnographic research is used to reflect on the group dynamics of 5 product design students during a practical training period in Oslo Municipality. The different roles and behavioural patterns of the group members are analysed against the background of cybernetic theory and Bateson’s communication theory, as well as Schön’s theory of reflective practice. The ways in which the group dynamics could be altered to facilitate more holistic approaches are suggested based on the findings obtained. By letting go of one’s roles and habits, accepting contradictions and opening up for questioning despite the uncertainty and threats it may pose for the comfort of stability, conditions can be created for more inclusive, engaging design processes, knowledge-sharing and, most importantly, learning through reflection. It is argued that communication literacy is one of the skills that form the basis for comprehensive and innovative design methodologies. Understanding communication phenomenon and the ways it can be used to facilitate learning, i.e. change, have the potential to offer a new perspective on the wicked problems in design fields. Thus, it is suggested that they be included in the corresponding curricula.