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Konstfack is meeting society's need for a new design education

Pressmeddelande   •   Jan 19, 2016 13:19 CET

As requests increase from a number of different industries looking for an approach to design that is somewhat beyond a fixed format, beyond product and/or service, Konstfack has applied for and been awarded just over SEK 1 million in support from the Knowledge Foundation. This is for a research project in which the Konstfack Master's Programme in Design will be developed.

At Konstfack it is currently possible to study a Master's in Design, specialising in either spatial design or an individual design study plan. As requests increase from a number of different branches looking for an approach to design that is somewhat beyond a fixed format, beyond product and/or service, Konstfack has applied for and been awarded just over SEK 1 million in support from the Knowledge Foundation. The aim is to increase the present and future relevance of the programme in order to better meet the great challenges of modern society. Everything from industrial development to the public sector's opportunity to create security for, and together with, citizens.

About 15 years ago, design began to be practiced in many “new” contexts, with many “new” questions being raised, in which the experiences of users, consumers and patients form important aspects. There are discussions of examples in service and transformation design, social innovation and sustainable design within the areas that touch upon –to name but a few – support services, patient journeys and democracy in public processes.

“The aim of the project is to create suggestions for a new form of design education, in which the students obtain knowledge by carrying out design-based, experimental collaboration processes. These are needed in order to manage complex social challenges whilst at the same time guaranteeing sustainability, quality and both aesthetic and ethical aspects,” explains Katarina Wetter-Edman, Senior Lecturer in Design at Konstfack and one of the team behind the project.

 “The students will thoroughly examine multiple modern and ground-breaking methods, as well as advances and experiences in current research. Education beyond product and services where the unknown is exactly what the industry feels needs to be researched further. That's why we are doing this,” says Bo Westerlund, the project leader and Professor in Industrial Design, adding that he and Katarina Wetter-Edman are working with other teachers in the faculty, as well as several design consultants, organisations and authorities.

The research project will take place from February 2016 until September 2017, with the final result either being incorporated into the Master Programme's individual study plan or becoming an entirely new specialisation.

For more information, please contact Professor Bo Westerlund, +46 (0) 70 511 11 48.

Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, is the largest arts and design University College in Sweden, with undergraduate and graduate programs in arts, crafts, design and visual arts/sloyd teacher education. All education programs of Konstfack share a common artistic basis. The school was founded in 1844 and has currently 1000 students and 200 staff members. www.konstfack.se

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