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13 APRIL 2012

Chartered Society of Designers: professional design accreditation

"The CSD library pages contain reports, links and resources that can be accessed to provide those practicing, using and studying design with insights and knowledge of the design sector and its inter–relationship with commerce and society."

(Chartered Society of Designers, UK)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2011

PhD pedagogy and the changing knowledge landscapes of universities

"At the level of form and content of the knowledge produced in postgraduates' work, the supervisor, whose intellectual roots are frequently based in a singular domain characterised by horizontal knowledge structures, must acquire principles that enable them to understand the students' research problems in terms of a vertical or hierarchical knowledge structure. For example, a student may wish to contribute to insights in the domain of social aspects of urban design. The supervisor, who may be a sociologist, must find a means of integrating insights from sociology with its own nuanced conceptual language, with discourses from design associated with user centred design principles, at a level that is sufficient to guide the student through the processes of integration and recontextualisation. Thus vertical knowledge structures need to be employed by both supervisor and student to address the weakening classifications between sociology and design. Further, however, the hidden aspect of pedagogy here is that the supervisor must have a sufficient understanding at a generic level of what is required for the development of knowledge through integration to provide the student with the tools to accomplish this with respect to their own specific topic area. This is an area that receives very little attention in any of the discourses or literature around what is required of supervisors, and is a key area for further research on postgraduate pedagogy."

(Barbara Adkins, 2009, QUT ePrints)

Adkins, Barbara A. (2009) PhD pedagogy and the changing knowledge landscapes of universities. Higher Education Research and Development Journal, 28(2), pp. 165–177.

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 SEPTEMBER 2005

Horizontal and Vertical Discourses

"Horizontal Discourse
We are all aware and use a form of knowledge usually typified as everyday or "common sense" knowledge. Common because all potentially or actually have access to it, common because it applies to all, and common because it has a common history in the sense of arising out of common problems of living and dying. This form has a group of well known features: it is likely to be oral, local, context dependent and specific, tacit, multi–layered and contradictory across but not within contexts. However, from the point of view to be taken here, the crucial feature is that is it segmentally organised. By segmental I am referring to the sites of realisation of this discourse. The realisation of this discourse varies with the way the culture segments and specialises activities and practices. The knowledge is segmentally differentiated. Because the discourse is Horizontal it does not mean that all segments have equal importance, clearly some will be more important than others. I shall contrast this Horizontal discourse with what I shall call a Vertical discourse.

Vertical Discourse
Briefly a Vertical discourse takes the form of a coherent, explicit and systematically principled structure, hierarchically organised as in the sciences, or it takes the form of a series of specialised languages with specialised modes of interrogation and specialised criteria for the production and circulation of texts as in the social sciences and humanities. I want first of all to raise the question of how knowledge circulates in these two discourses. In the case of Vertical discourse there are strong distributive rules regulating access, regulating transmission and regulating evaluation. Circulation is accomplished usually through explicit forms of recontextualising affecting distribution in terms of time, space and actors. I am not here concerned with the arenas and agents involved in these regulations. Basically, circulation is accomplished through explicit recontextualisation and evaluation, motivated by strong distributive procedures. But how does knowledge circulate in the case of Horizontal discourse where there is little systematic organising principles and therefore only tacit recontextualising? Of course in Horizontal discourse there are distributive rules regulating the circulation of knowledge, behaviour and expectations according to status/position. Such distributive rules structure and specialise social relations, practices and their context and local agents of its enactment and begin to circulate? – A Horizontal discourse entails a set of strategies which are local, segmentally organised, context specific and dependent, for maximising encounters with persons and habitats."
(Basil Bernstein 2000, p.157)

Bernstein, Basil. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

04 SEPTEMBER 2005

Self-Reflexivity: The Natural Sciences Versus The Human Sciences

"The natural sciences examine and explain phenomena which do not ascribe meanings or understandings to themselves; the natural sciences are not, and cannot be, self–reflexive; their success depends on their background practices remaining opaque to their practitioners, on their being taken for granted and ignored.[27] The human sciences, by contrast, attempt to understand phenomena which have self–referential and reflexive meanings and understandings; they are necessarily self–reflexive and concerned with their own background practices; and their success depends on their understanding and awareness of their background practices.[28] So whereas the interpretive practices of the scientist play no internal role in the formulation of theories or models in the natural sciences, those same interpretive practices play a major internal role in the human sciences. The human sciences have no reason to exist except to question the bases of human action, and this necessarily includes the self–reflexive study of the bases of their own modes of interpretation. The natural and the human sciences differ in the fact that background is external in the former and internal in the latter.[27] We follow Apel in excluding behaviourist psychology and statistical sociology from the human sciences as being wholly non–reflexive. They deal exclusively with humans as "things," and have a technological relation to practice. See Karl–Otto Apel, "The A Priori of Communication and the Foundation of the Humanities," in Dallmayr and McCarthy, op. cit., 292–315, p. 309.[28] Rorty denies this distinction, claiming that "anything is, for purposes of being inquired into, constituted within a web of meanings." In his view the meanings of actions and practices equate what their agents say about them. See Georgia Warnke, Gadamer, Hermeneutics, Tradition and Reason, London, Polity Press, 1987, pp. 141 ff."

(Adrian Snodgrass and Richard Coyne)

1). Snodgrass, A. and R. Coyne (1997). "Is Designing Hermeneutical", Architectural Theory Review Journal of The Department of Architecture Vol. 1 No. 1. Sydney, The University of Sydney, Department of Architecture: 72.

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