Developing design literacy for social agency


  • Miikka J. LEHTONEN Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, UAE
  • JiaYing CHEW Aalto University School of Business, Finland



design education, empathy, societal impact, curriculum design, transdisciplinarity


Preparing a workforce that is well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of our global human society is a key responsibility of design and higher education. Extant research has advocated design as one of the essential skills to master in the future, and this design literacy has been claimed to be a critical factor in creating innovations and new solutions towards transforming our societies. To explore how non-designers become more design literate, in this paper we present findings from a study looking at how multidisciplinary student teams develop their design literacy in an action-oriented course setting. Based on our initial analysis, blending the boundaries between universities and the surrounding society positively contributes towards developing design literacy. This, in turn, has pedagogical implications as well as increases our understanding on how design travels to other disciplinary domains.




How to Cite

LEHTONEN , M. J. ., & CHEW , J. . (2019). Developing design literacy for social agency. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 1307–1317.