Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

The Design Decision Trail: a transition tool to design employment

Attenburrow, D. H. (2009) The Design Decision Trail: a transition tool to design employment. Paper presented to: Transitions: Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Northampton, 13 May 2009. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract: This paper describes the function and utilisation of the Design Decision Trail as a reflective, visual narrative and qualitative audit trail for the teaching of design and related subjects. The initial inspiration came from nursing research. Using this initial impetus I significantly developed it in the context of design. It is a useful tool for tutorials and is a student centred, self-reflective document that provides evidence and documents individual student designers thinking and decision making in the design process. At present it has been included it in Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects and the teaching of undergraduate product and interior design and more recently in the Postgraduate Certificate in the Creative Industries provision here at the University of Northampton. The design decision trail is a visual journal mapping out the thought and decision-making processes through the undertaking of design projects. This has proved useful in helping students in understanding the nature of design problem solving and its communication to gain design employment and success in design competitions. The traditional design folio relies on finished design project presentations leaving the employer to elicit through questioning the applicant skill set appropriate to the professional design job vacancy. Therefore the traditional folio is enhanced by the inclusion of a decision trail that tells more about the journey travelled to reach the resolution and realisation of a design problem. As identified in earlier research, design employers want to know how the job applicant thinks, solves problems, level of technical ability and if they can integrate themselves and their skill set into an existing design team. The Design Decision Trail also illuminates individual personal qualities giving useful insights into the applicant's character through the way the applicant has edited the narrative of the Decision Trail to fit the needs of the employer at interview
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures > TS155 Production management. Operations management > TS171 Industrial art and design
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration > NC390 Study and teaching
Creators: Attenburrow, Derek H
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Design & Photography
Date: 13 May 2009
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: Transitions: Learning and Teaching Conference
Event Dates: 13 May 2009
Event Location: University of Northampton
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item