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Title: The emergence of an amplified mindset of design : distinct approaches to postgraduate design education
Author: Moreira, Mafalda
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 1153
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: Glasgow School of Art
Date of Award: 2018
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Change is a defining characteristic of design. Within a context of increasing global complexity, research shows that design activities are expanding to wider territories, creating a complex disciplinary landscape. In response, this thesis contributed with an emerging approach to design that is termed amplified mindset of design (AMD). This amplification is impacting design education and creating a need to update its models. In response to this context, this research answers the following research question: How can distinct approaches to postgraduate design education help future designers develop an amplified mindset? First, to articulate and evidence the conceptual framework of an amplified mindset of design, this research captured from the literature a set of views gaining ground in the contemporary design discourse and then refined these through fieldwork. As a result, the amplified mindset of design is defined as an emerging integral position in design oriented to addressing complex scenarios through collaborative approaches to generate sustainable ways of working and living. Second, intending to build a rich, in-depth investigation into the phenomenon of design education for an amplified mindset of design, this research followed a qualitative methodology divided in two parts. Initially, two Instrumental Case Studies were conducted to gain insight into two Masters programmes that showed signs of an amplified approach to design. Findings from the case studies were used in the second part of the methodology focused on designing a Masters programme for the specific development of an AMD. In addition, this research interpreted the conceptual framework of an amplified mindset of design as educational guiding principles and consulted relevant literature from the field of education to develop a Masters programme entitled MDes in Adaptive Design Practices. Such process followed an iterative approach that included a series of individual interviews supported by visuals and principles of low fidelity prototyping. Lastly, a focus group with design educators, practitioners, and students was conducted with the aim of ascertaining the relevance of this Masters programme to the emerging demands of the design industry. In conclusion, this thesis brings clarity to the current ambiguous disciplinary landscape by revealing an emerging design identity (AMD) which was used to develop a new approach to design education. For designers working within this emergent context, the amplified mindset of design encapsulates a terminology to better equip them to advocate for an integral position especially suited to dealing with complex design scenarios and changing contexts. For design educators, the conceptual framework of an AMD is flexible enough to be adapted into different educational formats by providing categories of educational demand for emerging design practices. This thesis offers the MDes in Adaptive Design Practices as a potential proposal for the development of an AMD, and an approach to curriculum development informed by design methods. This Masters programme was designed to equip students with knowledge and skills to situate themselves in the current expansion of design practices, and to explore new territories of design. Furthermore, this thesis proposes that other disciplines seeking to innovate can use the AMD in education and training contexts to develop a more comprehensive and synergistic approach better suited to deal with the global complexities they may face.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available