CATEGORIES2014 Conference Papers Design Education & Design Research
Willingness to fail is critical to the success of contempo-rary design education. The exploratory design process, therefore, re-quires failure as a constructive tool in refining ideas. In rejecting the benefit of failures, our creative missteps are rendered the grotesque misfits of the design process—the artifacts of our imperfections. With further scrutiny these golden moments of seeming nonsense enable students to deconstruct uncertainty by deciphering the reasons for their successes and failures. These misfits push the designer to ask better questions, both of oneself and of the problem. Our rejection of these invaluable missteps relies on our expectation of consistent suc-cess. Can we always expect success or can we presume to hope for something to rise from our “practice” (our failures)? The authors will argue in this paper that the “grotesque” artifacts of the design process are quintessential to producing stronger designers rather than follow-ers. We propose a pedagogical model that transforms design education curriculum into an exploratory learning process, encouraging twenty-first century designers to embrace their failures as critical to their fu-ture successes. In addition, the paper offers techniques on the applica-tion of a failure-centered methodology for design studios.