Skip to main content

Sustaining Ambiguity and Fostering Openness in the (Design) Learning Environment

Buy Article:

$10.35 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Knowledge economies possess a number of key characteristics that require designers to work and cope with the growing occurrence of unpredictable scenarios. To mindfully engage in an uncertain world, student designers must develop critical thinking, social interaction and the ability to manifest design in a diversity of professional and industrial sectors. They need to develop the ability to equip themselves with the skill of sustaining and renewing knowledge throughout their careers. This demands that design extend its teaching beyond revealing the origins and nature of design to include skills of interrogation, which allow individuals to challenge existing and established theories and practices.

The intention of this paper is to articulate a teaching and learning philosophy for contemporary design, and exemplify practice through design projects and skill development from one postgraduate design programme. It discusses the philosophy of mindfulness and refers to the activities of rhetoric and visual thinking as means of nurturing communication of the designer's thinking. The nature rather than the content of teaching and learning is of key concern, and as such the practicalities of teaching and applying mindful learning are referred to but purposefully not described, analysed or argued for. In closing, a new strategy for design teaching and learning is proposed.

Keywords: designer's thinking; dialogue; mindfulness; rhetoric; visual thinking

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Dundee, Scotland.

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more