Leveraging Diversity in the Studio Classroom

Helping beginning design students draw on their own histories to develop unique approaches to making and learning


  • Saskia van Kampen OCAD University


This paper argues that to focus only on the fundamentals and precedents may limit the beginning design student to a finite, predictable, and culturally limited view of what design is. Such restricted curriculum also risks the erasure of what the students bring to the classroom—diverse perspectives and years of unique experiences. Fundamentals and precedents should be seen as a starting point in an education that has students and faculty questioning, pushing against, and possibly even rejecting the past. This approach to design education can stimulate a rich and rigorous environment of empirical research and self-reflection.