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ERIC Number: EJ1152772
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2158-6195
Transformative Design Pedagogy: A Place-Based and Studio-Based Exploration of Culture
Fay, Lindsey Lawry; Kim, Eun Young
Journal of Learning Spaces, v6 n2 p28-38 2017
The discipline of interior design education is committed to providing diverse learning opportunities for examining the topic of culture while implementing design practices that respond to the "needs of "all" humans"(Hadjiyanni, 2013, p. v). In the Council for Interior Design Accreditation's Future Vision results (Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 2014), it was stated that "tomorrow's designer will need to be better equipped to become a "global citizen," one who is socially responsible and respects cultural norms outside of their own experience" (p. 6). The topic of culture has consistently played an integral role in design education, with varied methods of instruction including education abroad experiences, culture-based design applications, and even virtual immersion opportunities (Asojo, 2001, 2015; Kucko & Prestwood, 1999). However, there has been little analysis of the transformation a student might undergo in attaining cultural competency and what learning environments best contribute to this. The number of people living in a country in which they were not born has increased 51 percent worldwide since 1990 (Conner, Cohn, & Barrera, 2013), implying that design educators will need to navigate the complex subject of culture from an increasingly diversified perspective. This article identifies transformative learning as an important strategy for achieving cultural competency as students can become more self-aware, thus positioning them to better empathize and consider the diverse needs of various populations. With the understanding that cultural competency is achieved through a transformation of perspective, it is important to question what pedagogical methods best contribute to personal transformations, and the varied learning environments within which this can occur. Nemec (2012) states "transformative learning refers to a dramatic change, where the learner achieves a shift in perspective. This shift results from a critical examination of one's own assumptions, values, and beliefs, and of the foundations and expectations of the system in which one operates" (p. 478). With these concepts in mind, this article will demonstrate the use of a transformative learning model (Mezirow, 1978, 1990, 2000) and discuss its effectiveness in the achievement of cultural competency among design students in two varied learning environments. The execution of this concept was concurrently implemented in two interior design courses at the University of Kentucky. One scenario was a place-based education abroad experience held in Southeast Asia that tasked students with developing cross-cultural comparisons through various methods of observation and documentation, while the other was a studio-based cultural design project completed at the University of Kentucky's College of Design. Both courses asked students to critically analyze cultural assumptions and engage in accompanying discourse regarding each pedagogical scenario. Student-learning outcomes from each course revealed a transformation of cultural perspective. However, it was found that several pedagogical methodologies were deemed more appropriate to the examination of culture when considering the various learning environments of the courses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Asia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A