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Title: A different kind of black & white : graduate engineers learning freehand drawing and industrial design in a postgraduate art and design school setting
Author: Bramwell-Davis, Prunella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 800X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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The study explores the experience of epistemic development in graduate engineers learning industrial design, in a postgraduate art and design school setting - the Royal College of Art, London, where the researcher was the Senior Tutor during the period of the study, 1994-2004 (Industrial Design Engineering). The aim was to understand how generative drawing could play a significant role in design's now pressing imperative to be a more responsible player in the world economy. The study worked with the premise that the open-endedness of sketching may be experienced as a new way of knowledge-making for students whose undergraduate engineering programmes have largely trained them in analytical techniques in abstract frameworks, where there are single right answers, whereas the design of products or systems involves the multiple contingencies of real-world problem-setting and solving, and complex value judgements in the context of broader social and cultural concerns. Approaches to epistemic development were explored in relation to experiential learning, and visual and other kinds of thinking used in designing, through two main methods. Transcripts of conversations with students were studied, and interpreted through the lens of narrative inquiry. Over the length of the study a research notebook process was extensively developed and used to reveal and reflect on the significant links between different subjects in the enquiry. These two sources enabled me to propose a series of metaphorical links between features of learning and knowing, and aspects of drawing. From analysis of the transcripts epistemic development is seen as the management of struggles between many contrasting ways of knowing and acting, using the central metaphor of the bridge. The bridge metaphor emerged as part of my own research methods development. Using it enabled me to see the parallels between my journeys and those of the students, providing grounding for the study in first-hand experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available