A ‘theatric’ approach to the teaching of design

Jason Matthews, Tony Medland

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Design teaching is complicated due to its context specific nature. The teaching of it as an academic subject focuses on the core technologies of embodiment, detailing and manufacture. In order to put these into context issues that establish the background and also the success of the design should need to be considered. These are expressed here in theatrical terms as providing the prologue and epilogue around the main ‘play’. The prologue establishes the background and sets the design into the specific nature of the problem being handled through an understanding of the broader issues of the originality of the problem, the frequency with which it has been addressed as well as the current exploitation and commercial application. The epilogue is often ignored during teaching as the solution is expected to follow the core processes and lead directly to a solution. In ‘real’ design there is often the case that the chosen solution may not meet all of the requirements or the original brief may have failed to cover items that subsequently turned out to be important. The inclusion of these additional aspects of design during teaching allows the context and core issues of design to be better understood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationN/A
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2011
Event International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11) - Denmark
Duration: 14 Aug 201114 Aug 2011


Presentation International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11)


  • design teaching
  • context nature
  • deign process


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