Moving Beyond "Just Making Things": Design History in the Studio and the Survey Classroom


  • Dori Griffin


The disciplinary literature of graphic design education calls for the inclusion of design history in studio students' education. Yet evidence that the discipline has successfully answered this call remains scarce. This paper asks design educators to consider how our rhetoric might be misaligned with our practice on the subject of teaching graphic design history. It also asks educators to consider the need to develop an explicit, detailed body of case study literature dealing with the ways in which historical learning can be incorporated into the studio classroom. Design educators need to document and inter-rogate the specific ways in which we have been incorporating design history into the studio classroom. Enabling students to construct a functional model of design history requires more than a disparate and loosely defined set studio projects with history as their subject matter. Design educators need a way to learn about successful models and develop disciplinary best practices. Toward this end, the last section of this paper offers a detailed case study that documents one way to incorporate graphic design history into the studio classroom.






Journal Article