QUT – Natalie Wright on UNESCO International Arts Education Week 2012

QUT – Natalie Wright on UNESCO International Arts Education Week 2012


It’s great to be a part of International Arts
Education week, and I look forward to some of the discussions to be had around how design
can be incorporated into arts education. I’ve been an interior designer for 20 years,
and I guess from my practice I’ve realised that there’s a lack of understanding about
the value of design.   It’s seen as a product rather than a process,
and I think there’s a lot of value to be gained by people understanding that the design process
can benefit them in looking at their future in a  positive way. Design led thinking is important because it
gives students skills in creativity, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, allowing
them to work with other people to think about problems and how we might solve them. I’ve been involved in some some projects in
regional Queensland, namely the Go Design Travelling Workshop Program, where we spent
three days in six different regional towns in Queensland to explore with secondary students
and teachers the value of design thinking to analyse and re-imagine their local town
through a place based approach. Design professionals were involved to mentor
the students, and we also had university design students.   The teachers were initially quite skeptical,
or didn’t really understand where design fits into a very disciplined structured format
in schools.   However by the end of the project they had
an understanding that design really fits into a lot of different disciplines.   I think it was really valuable to see communities,
business, regional institutions such as galleries, the teachers and the students all coming together
to understand how design can inform their town, and how in the future this can be a
positive process. I would love to think that design could be
introduced at a primary school level, and then inform arts education and other education
right up to a tertiary level. There needs to be an understanding of how
creativity informs innovation, and design is the glue that brings creativity and innovation
together.   In a business scenario this is extremely important
to secure our future economy. I would like to see that in the future we
are looking at a design language where business, engineers, creative specialists and technologists
are all speaking the same language.


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