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UAL Research Online

Developing Design Expertise Through the Construction of Video Stories

McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter and Valkenburg, Rianne C. (2004) Developing Design Expertise Through the Construction of Video Stories. Design Studies, 25 (5). pp. 509-525. ISSN 0142694X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter and Valkenburg, Rianne C.

Making sense of formal design education, confronting the conflicts it raises with design practice, and the on-going process of assimilating design experience is all part of designers’ development. This paper analyses the ways in which theories about experiential learning and expert performance identify 'reflection' as a vital mechanism operating at different levels according to whether experiential learners are responding to a situation as it unfolds, or critically making sense of past events. The work links notions about reflection with the process of story-making via their common agenda of sense-making.

The paper demonstrates the experiential learning value of exploiting digital video recording and editing technology to support story-making as part of professional development - through facilitating critical reflection about design practice.

It reports an empirical study of small groups of industrial designers in which the potential of video story-making for making sense of design experiences was assessed through two-week long intensive workshops. The workshops, devised to generate the research data, took place during my four-month sabbatical at TU Delft in autumn 2001.

The paper considers the separate activities (video-recording design activity, viewing and selecting footage, planning story foci with others, editing and composing a final film) in terms of their contribution to reflection that supports experiential learning. Claims are supported from close analysis of research data comprising comprehensive video recordings of all workshop activity; a unique feature of the research design. The study pioneered the use of video-story making as a means of critically reflecting on the design process in the context of acquiring design expertise.

The paper appears in a special issue of Design Studies devoted to Design Expertise. Different aspects of the work were presented in a variety of forums including the Engineering and Product Design Education Conference, Coventry, 2002 and the International Conference of Engineering Design, Stockholm 2003.

Official Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2004.05.005
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Janet McDonnell's research centres on the study of design and other kinds of professional work as it takes place in natural settings where many competing practical pressures are at play. The focus of research is on different means of making practices 'visible' e.g. the methods in use, the decision-making behaviour, how ideas get introduced and established, the informational bases (sources, uses and quality) that individuals and groups rely on, and the influences of assumptions and norms. The overarching themes uniting different projects are an interest in supporting reflective practice, increasing the potential for individuals and groups to learn from experience, enabling user engagement in design, communication of expertise, and understanding the social interactional aspects of collaborative activity.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 September 2004
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.destud.2004.05.005
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:11
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2014 11:43
Item ID: 1157
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1157

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