Why Am I Studying Design?

S.E. Baha, M.D.C. Koch, N. Sturkenboom, R.A. Price, H.M.J.J. Snelders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Identity development of design students is a dynamic entanglement between personal and professional identities. Yet, literature primarily focuses on professional identity, based on institutionalized definitions of design to which students must conform. In contrast, we explore personal motivations for wanting to become a designer. An instrumental case study explores how an undergraduate design student develops personal principles for good design, and a personal vision for designing. Results show these principles and underlying vision are applied in the student’s design work, leading to development of a holistic identity (personal and professional). Finally, we note this exercise necessitated a plural and dynamic understanding of design (education). We therefore encourage design students and educators to co-design educational spaces and processes to stimulate enriched potentiality of design culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS2020 International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationSynergy
EditorsStella Boes, Ming Cheung, Rebecca Cain
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912294-40-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventDRS 2020 International Conference, Held online: Synergy - Online, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


ConferenceDRS 2020 International Conference, Held online
Abbreviated titleDRS2020
Internet address


  • Design Education
  • Designer Identity
  • Principles for Good Design
  • Research through Design (RtD)
  • Annotated Portfolios


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