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Integration of studio and theory in the teaching of graphic design

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Traditionally, art and design education in many higher education institutions has been characterized by a split between the teaching of theory and practice. This article argues that this split ignores the possible common ground between the two, largely to the detriment of students. In particular, it will illustrate how and why many art and design students feel alienated by the methods employed in the primarily classroom-based teaching of theory. The article further argues that there exists common ground between theory and practice in the form of research and that this common ground provides opportunities to integrate the two. Students will therefore be able to learn about theory through practice, which corresponds much more closely to students’ needs and abilities. The Context programme of the BA Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design provides an example where such an integration has taken place successfully.

Keywords: critical positioning; deep learning; research; student as author and designer

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.
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