Back to Basics: Using Esquisses to Develop Core Design Skills

de Vere, Ian (2016) Back to Basics: Using Esquisses to Develop Core Design Skills. In: Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2016), 8-9 September 2016, Aalborg University, Denmark.

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Back to Basics: Using Esquisses to Develop Core Design Skills
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Design education is increasingly complex. A proliferation of new and emerging design agendas
combined with broader career pathways has resulted in curricula that is at maximum capacity as it
attempts to develop knowledge, skills and competency across a broad range of subject areas. In
seeking to address constantly evolving design practice, broad base curriculum can either lack of depth
or neglect the core skills that underpin the profession. It is apparent in recent years that design students
whilst knowledgeable and capable as design thinkers, are often unsupported in the development of the
fundamental skills required for design ideation and communication.
This paper describes curriculum initiatives aimed at re-establishing core design skills at the beginning
of the design learning journey, in direct response to industry expectations. An observed lack of
competency in the core areas of design communication (sketching, rendering and storyboarding) and
creativity and ideation, resulted in revision to the level 1 curriculum at Brunel University London to
facilitate student learning and to emphasis the importance of core design skills. A term-long program
of weekly ‘esquisses’ was introduced to support the existing project-based curriculum. Resultantly,
students now acquire skills through a skills development program, rather than indiscriminately (if at
all) during design projects. The twelve exercises are a structured learning platform for skills
acquisition that focus on development of design communication and ideation skills, supported by tutor

Keywords:Design education, design skills, student learning experience
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Design
ID Code:53756
Deposited On:29 Mar 2023 09:03

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