Julie Schell at SXSW EDU: Design Has a Pedagogy Problem

Julie Schell, executive director of learning design, effectiveness, and innovation at the School of Design and Creative Technologies at UT Austin, spoke at SXSW EDU about how educators can be more effective in training the next generation of designers.  

Schell described the complexities of “wicked problems,” which are problems that have no straightforward cause or solution. Because design has shown some promise in addressing challenges like poverty and disease, designers and “design thinkers” are in greater demand around the world. But it must be acknowledged that many individuals and organizations are attempting “design thinking” without any real training or rigor. You can’t solve a wicked problem with what you learned in a 3-hour design bootcamp.

Schell shared strategies from her career as a learning scientist and urged both design educators and design students to “think” before they “design think.”


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