The 'Culture Medium' in Design Education

Megan Strickfaden, Ann Heylighen, Paul Rodgers, Herman Neuckermans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Design solutions do not occur in a vacuum. They are nourished by a breeding ground that embraces various substances, phenomena and traces, all of which function as raw material for concept generation and ultimately for design. Perhaps an appropriate name for this breeding ground is ‘culture medium’, which combines the notion of cultural baggage that individuals and groups hold as part of their make-up, with the idea of a seedbed for growing micro-organisms. This paper examines the composition of this ‘culture medium’ and how it functions in the context of design education through reporting two unrelated, yet content-wise connected studies. The first results from indepth interviews with experienced design tutors, the second is comprised of an ethnographically oriented study with a group of design students. Combining, comparing and contrasting information gathered in these two studies, reveals some interesting insights about the ‘culture medium’ that is valued by tutors and students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrossing Design Boundaries: Proceedings of the 3rd Engineering & Product Design Education International Conference
EditorsPaul Rodgers, Libby Brodhurst, Duncan Hepburn
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages604
ISBN (Print)978-0415391184
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2005


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