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Designing in creativity: an investigation into the role of creativity in graphic designArya, Rina; Meachem, Carol (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)Graphic design practice is currently entrenched within a process-driven, formulaic approach to design that is time constrained and closely aligned with the working practices of the business environment. This approach is not conducive to creativity. Although design institutions recognise the call from UK governments for increased creativity and innovation in support of economic, social, and cultural initiatives the current commodification of knowledge, developed in response to the needs of business and industry, has its limitations. There is today a tension in the academic community between the pursuit of creative practice as a valuable entity in itself and the preparation of graduates for employment. There is a growing concern within the industry at the educational marginalisation of creativity within the design process in an attempt to remain current with technological and professional skilling. The intellectual and theoretical underpinning of graphic design is weak with little scholarly debate in relation to creativity and critical thinking. The aim of this research therefore is to support future practice and educational initiatives by developing a new theoretical and contextual framework from which to engage with both industry and education. Utilising a mixed method approach together with the insider/outsider status of the researcher working as both a design practitioner and design educator the research addresses the following questions: what is the role of creativity in graphic design? Why is creativity important to graphic design education and industry practice? How can creativity be facilitated within graphic design education and industry practice? A small-scale qualitative online survey was conducted initially in the form of a targeted emailed questionnaire. It collected opinions, knowledge, and experiences from 9 universities within the UK Higher Education sector and a small number of industry practitioners. The aim was to gain insights from a cross-section of individuals most likely to have special knowledge about the research topic and provide a snapshot of how things are currently. The study built on these insights by considering creativity in different contexts and demonstrates through substantial critical investigation and analysis the theoretical and contextual knowledge underpinning discussions in relation to creativity. It explores the significance of creativity as a term and an activity in graphic design. It examines possible explanations for the marginalisation of creativity in graphic design by looking at the historical precedents for the split between the fine and applied arts and the impact that this has had on the way that design has been taught and practiced. The findings confirm that understanding the role of creativity within practice is fundamental to ensuring that graphic design remains relevant in twenty first century culture and society. However, what creativity is and the various forms it can take may be different to what is currently recognised by education and industry practice.
The relationship between software skills and subject specific knowledge, theory and practice.Marshall, Lindsey; Austin, Marc (University of Wolverhampton, 2004)Previous research (Marshall & Austin, 2003) suggests that there is a need for theory to be integrated with practice in design subjects. There is current concern that the acquisition of software skills is taking priority over subject specific knowledge and skills. This is seen as a source of some tension between design education and industry, as many employers require graduates to have knowledge of software prior to employment. Integrating these skills into the curriculum alongside developing creativity and theoretical/contextual understanding is proving difficult for education. Although technology plays an integral role in the production of designed artefacts, it is an adjunct to the core content of courses which is an understanding of the knowledge and skills associated with design, their application to creative problem solving and contextual/ theoretical understanding of issues related to design and a broader field. There is national and international debate around this issue. Justice (1999) expresses concern about space in the curriculum, stating: ‘Before computers, faculty may have had a full semester to teach a beginning typography course. Now, they have a full semester to teach typography and the several software packages the students will use to complete the typography projects.’ (Justice, 1999, p.54)
Design Under the GunDavies, Colin; Parrinder, Monika (F+W Publications, Inc, 2006)The authors were commissioned to write an article looking at Product Design post-9/11. The article questioned whether an aesthetic of violence had taken root, promoting a new criticality amongst product designers.