Democratizing Design

Can higher education survive?


  • Rebecca KELLY Syracuse University, US



design education, design curriculum, graphic design, visual literacy, critical thinking



The tools and techniques of graphic design have become accessible to the public at large to such a degree that the profession itself may be threatened with extinction. At the same time, design literacy — the knowledge and reasoning beyond the use of those techniques — does not seem to be experiencing the same widespread dissemination. In order to re-establish its value, the design profession must introduce a higher level of insight beyond the mere the decoration of artefacts – an ability to understand “big picture” concepts and to work across disciplines to become involved in every step of a project, from concept to completion. Thus, U.S. undergraduate design education must change as well. Educators must be innovative in order to prepare a new generation to evolve quickly and continuously. Programs must be fluid and adaptable, which requires educators to treat their curricula as design problems, to be solved with radical thinking and creativity.




How to Cite

KELLY, R. . (2019). Democratizing Design: Can higher education survive?. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 1389–1400.