Graphic design education: mediating a multiplicity of practice(s)

CORAZZO, James (2017). Graphic design education: mediating a multiplicity of practice(s). In: Exploring Territories: The Changing Landscape of Art & Design Higher Education’, Manchester, 6 April 2017. (Unpublished)

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It has been said that graphic design is a large territory, too difficult to take in at one glance (Camuffo & Dalla Mura 2011). Perhaps this explains why words like heterogeneous1 heteronomous2 or polymodal3 have become increasingly prominent in descriptions of contemporary graphic design. Given this diversity and complexity it could be argued the critical question shifts from a focus on agreed definitions and marking the territory to a focus on generating new frames for understanding this complexity. Frames to enable us to mediate a multiplicity of practices, values, purposes and ideological orientations at play in graphic design. By drawing on Actor-Network theory, this paper will explore a frame for understanding and articulating this complexity. Actor-Network theory opens up a way to think about graphic design as ‘enacted as multiple objects, as very different things in different logics of study and practice’ (Fenwick 2010:79). It offers an approach where we might appreciate graphic design as many different, co-existing and non-coherent practices. Graphic design as a tricky shapeshifter and messy object. Given this messiness I want outline the implications for graphic design education and discuss how we might generate frames for understanding graphic design as a messy object in ways that doesn’t close down the complexity. I want to suggest the creation of ‘passageways’ (Law 2009) between the multiple objects; logics and practices of graphic design, might offer a productive way forward. And that such thinking has the potential to provide students with the frames for understanding (and operating in) the expanding and increasingly heterogeneous field of contemporary graphic design. 1. (diverse in character or content:) 2. (subject to different laws of growth and development) 3. (having more than one mode) References Camuffo, G. & Dalla Mura, M. (eds) (2011) Graphic Design Worlds / Words, Verona: Electra Fenwick, T. (2010) ‘Workplace ‘learning’ and adult education: messy objects, blurry maps and making difference’ European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, Vol.1 (1–2), pp.79–95 Law, J. (2009) ‘Multiplicity, Mess, and Modes of Enacting.’. Paper presented to Objects What Matters? Technology, Value and Social Change Conference, University of Manchester (3 September 2009)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: James Corazzo
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 14:42
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 16:07

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