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Guidelines or Aesthetics: Design Learning Strategies

By E. Stolterman


This paper presents, as a theoretical vehicle, a simple dichotomy based on the concepts of the guideline approach and the aesthethics approach to design education. The dichotomy is used to deepen the understanding of design work and as a way of relating the question of design learning strategy to the historical controversy between the ideals of the Romantic and the Enlightenment traditions. The paper argues that the education of designers can be interpreted and understood to be based on some presuppositions about the nature of design work. It is concluded that design education should have as its first goal, to help design students to develop an intellectual capacity and to support them with necessary theoretical tool to be able to reveal hidden preconceptions and assumptions about design practice.

Year: 1994
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