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ERIC Number: EJ1413156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1476-8062
What if Walter Gropius Were a Woman: Alternative Design History Teaching Experiment
Li Zhang; Yujia Liu; Youtian Wu
International Journal of Art & Design Education, v43 n1 p114-128 2024
As one of the most literary and transdisciplinary cultural practices, speculative design has become one of the best mediums for discussing emerging technologies, the Anthropocene and the ecological crisis. When design history is merely perceived as established knowledge about the past and fails to engage in dialogue with reality or individual interaction, it often struggles to inspire students' agency in learning and willingness to deep involvement in research. Alternative design history, however, serves as a type and method of historiography that actively constructs history and alternatively imagines the past. It aims to situate historical knowledge as the context for design problem exploration rather than an end goal of education. This approach guides educators and learners to co-speculate on historical design knowledge. By 'reversing' specific elements of historical experience, such as gender mentioned in this article, and employing alternative imagination to form what-if scenarios and pose inquiries about existing historical facts, a distinct form of 'counterfactual history' emerges that diverges notably from traditional design history. Throughout speculation within 'counterfactual history', students can distinguish between historical facts and realities, which enables students to comprehend the construction of historical knowledge, the individuality of historical narratives, and the standpoint of historical discourse. In this way, it helps students cultivate a historical interest that 'starts from the self', guiding them to foster resilient historical thinking and a critical awareness of reality.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A