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Notes on design education and (prefigurative) work politics

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In this text we are reporting back on the practice-based research project Precarity Pilot. The starting point for this research is the fact that in today’s Europe, design graduates are entering into a landscape of precarious work. This research-in-progress thus enquires into how formal and informal design education can be a space where to empower young designers to transformatively engage with the precarious work politics of their profession. As a mid-way result, here we present a series of didactic proposals and strategic questions for how issues of socio-economic precariousness can be transformatively addressed. This result is based on a series of half-day workshops we have been running between 2014 and 2016 with design students, recent graduates and design educators in the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Italy. We address these proposals to educators, managers and students alike as we are convinced that everyone involved in education has agency over how the learning process unfolds.

Keywords: collective action; didactic proposals; diversity; economies; precariousness; work

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leeds College of Art Sheffield School of Architecture

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • What are the challenges of learning and teaching in art, design and communication? The peer-reviewed journal of Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education aims to inform, stimulate and promote the development of research in the field by providing a forum for debate arising from findings as well as theory and methodologies.
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