Attitude development in designer's education

van Doorn, Ellemieke and Moes, Niels and Fain, Nusa; (2008) Attitude development in designer's education. In: Proceedings of the TMCE 2008. UNSPECIFIED, TUR.

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Modern academic design and engineering education adopted the issues and goals of holistic development of design competence. Holistic design competence is a combination of generic capacities: capability, knowledge, skill, experience and attitude. All capacities should be addressed in academic education, but the development of attitude is not sufficiently emphasized. Designers’ attitude can be seen as the relationship between a designer and the design profession. With a good designers’ attitude, different types of design problems can be solved and all the capacities, including attitude, can be developed. This paper proposes that developing a good designers’ attitude can be implemented in design education and should be done. We present the five different elements that comprise an attitude: communication, reliability, trust, motivation and open mindset. The relations between elements of designers’ attitude and other capacities of design competence are discussed. We studied the manifestation of attitudes and their development in a project of the so called Global Product Realization (GPR) course. The GPR course incorporates students from several European universities who are asked to solve a real design problem for an industrial company. The conclusion is that this project has supported the development of all five attitudinal elements. Since GPR projects are multi disciplinary, multi cultural and communication is non face-toface, a certain level of designers’ attitude is required for such projects. Further research is needed to support the vision that development of designers’ attitude needs to be addressed earlier in design education, preferably from the very first course.