Are We All Designers?

P.A. Rodgers, Ashley Hall, E. Winton, John Lawlor (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Several design writers have proposed, or at least implied, that we are all designers through the way we manipulate the environment around us, select the items we wish to own, plan, build, buy, arrange, and restructure things all in a form of design [1, 2]. During the same time, design as a behavioural phenomenon has increased its capacity and breadth and as a result, design activity extends from the objects we use on a daily basis to cities, landscapes, nations, cultures, bodies, genes, political systems, digital existences, food production, the way we travel and even cloning sheep [3]. This paper reports on an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project that seeks to explore current models of creative practice, examining where disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, and methodological edges lie in an attempt to define the significant drivers of any movements across disciplinary boundaries. The project's creative workshop activities have also facilitated comparison of the outputs between single-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary group working and has allowed the research team to explore how non-designers and designers alike transfigure creative space during practical design exercises. The outputs of the first workshop pose fundamental questions for the future of design education models based purely on disciplinary perspectives and furthermore questions whether current understandings of design thinking encompass more generalist human traits. The need to educate designers who can surf across disciplinary boundaries to tackle the 21st century's emerging complex and wicked social [4], environmental and economic issues suggests a radical rethink against the individual and disciplinary based perspectives that largely prevail.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign education - growing our future
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology
Place of PublicationDublin, Ireland
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2013
Event15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - Dublin Institute of technology, Dublin, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20136 Sep 2013


Conference15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • design

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