Combining 2D and 3D Fundamentals to Foster Systems Thinking in Design Students: Reflections and Case Studies from an Interdisciplinary Design Degree




Design Education, Interdisciplinary, Synergy, Systems Thinking, Transition Design


This paper proposes some interdisciplinary design education approaches which can help to introduce students to more holistic perspectives of design practice, the world, and the influence of design within it. Through reflection on our design education practice, the authors highlight particular benefits of integrative design pedagogy to increase student awareness of relationships between disciplines, systems thinking, ability to design for ‘synergy’, and to more adequately prepare designers for an increasingly interconnected and changing world. Case study as a qualitative methodology is utilised to reflect on our interdisciplinary design studio educational practice (Baskarada, 2014; Rashid et al., 2019). Reflective practice methodology is also used to critically reflect on the design education case studies (Brookfield, 2000; Osterman, 1990). Key findings from these case studies suggest that teaching both 2D and 3D design fundamentals in combination, and having real world projects, can give students more awareness of the interrelatedness of design disciplines and foster systems thinking from early in their design studies/careers. Non-assessed collaboration between students from different programmes also needs to be encouraged and facilitated. Introducing critical reflective approaches are also important, to give learners deeper understandings of the implications of design and the importance of designing to counteract ‘wicked problems’.


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Biografia do Autor

James Smith-Harvey, Eastern Institute of Technology

James is a designer, educator, and researcher from Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), living in Ahuriri, Heretaunga (Napier, Hawkes Bay). He works as a design lecturer in the IDEAschool at the Eastern Institute of Technology, and keeps a freelance communication design practice going in addition to research and educational work. His practice-oriented research focuses primarily on design for new and emerging educational technologies, ecological literacy for designers, art+science collaboration, intercultural co-design, and indigenous epistemologies and design methodologies.

Mazin Bahho, Eastern Institute of Technology

Mazin Bahhocompleted his PhD Degree in Architecture in 2018 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is currently a senior lecturer of design at the Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Mazin's research is in the fields of ecological design, energy, community environmental education, and design for the interior environment. His research aims to visualise and construct design solutions to issues of human habitation, particularly on ecology and the vernacular. Identity and sense of place are paramount to his process focusing on the significance of history and culture as a way of exploring patterns that can be expressed in the present.

Roger Kelly, Eastern Institute of Technology

As a practicing designer and educator my work contributes to the ongoing conversation about the value of our things and their means of creation, more specifically my research focuses on the belief that a specific object should be or could be a signifier or reminder of our needs, as such object making as a form of identity creation for both maker and user.

Underlying my creative work is the constant valuing of design skill and crafting in the development of systems and products where I find myself designing and making objects that enhance people’s wellbeing by supporting our connections to place, to nature, ourselves and each other through deep materialism.

Anthony Chiappin, Eastern Institute of Technology

Anthony is a lecturer within Design graduate and post-graduate degree programmes. He has an accomplished professional background in the visual communication sectors, specifically as a commercial illustrator and visual artist, with an ancillary advertising career in art direction and freelance brand creative direction. He established his networks in the commercial advertising sector internationally through his formative Illustration practice-based graphic discipline, having graduated from his Masters of Visual Art through Monash University in 2008. Anthony adopts these integrated practices through his role as an educator, tutoring his particular multidisciplinary vision towards the craft of creating imagery that is effective.


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Como Citar

SMITH-HARVEY, J.; BAHHO, M.; KELLY, R.; CHIAPPIN, A. . Combining 2D and 3D Fundamentals to Foster Systems Thinking in Design Students: Reflections and Case Studies from an Interdisciplinary Design Degree . Revista GEMInIS, [S. l.], v. 13, n. 3, p. 44–57, 2022. DOI: 10.53450/2179-1465.RG.2022v13i3p44-57. Disponível em: Acesso em: 18 abr. 2024.



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