Instilling an Awareness of Phenomenology through a Craft-Centered Design Pedagogy

By Tonya Sweet.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As contemporary design curricula grow ever more reliant on digital production processes and techniques, the attributes gleaned from the tactile world of materiality and handwork diminish from the design student's vocabulary. In the education of students who strive to excel in the fields of architecture and interior design this poses a specific challenge in regards to understanding and appreciating the phenomenological qualities that are inherent in the design of material, spatial experiences. While digital methodologies maintain a firm and valued relationship within design praxis, design pedagogies require a renewed engagement in sensory-driven learning in which haptics and craft are central motivators. This paper outlines these issues as they were explored in undergraduate design studios that emphasized the value of craft, integrating both digital fabrication methods and hand-working skills, in the service of providing an awareness and appreciation of phenomenological qualities to students of architecture and interior design.

Keywords: Pedagogy, Craft, Digital, Phenomenology

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.31-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 385.646KB).

Prof. Tonya Sweet

Professor of Design, College of Architecture, Art, and Design, The American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Tonya Sweet is currently an Assistant Professor at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where she teaches in the Interior Design and Design Foundation programs, in addition to teaching cross-disciplinary electives that explore the potentials of materials and fabrication processes. Tonya earned an MFA in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.