The professional collaborative design process as a model for the teaching of visual design

Year: 1994

Author: Grushka, Kathryn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Professional practice in art-making has for some time been presented as a model for curriculum design in art education. This paper links the professional collaborative design process of artist/designers, architects and the interior designer, who merge their professional skills to create a unified look or collaborative aesthetic. The model presented has application in Visual Design courses.

The design process is illuminated through an in-depth study of a collaborative design project supported by an Australia Council Grant for Art in Public Places, bringing together artist/designers and the building industry. The resulting liaison saw the production of four large-scale site-specific works. The design process model of this project will be presented to illustrate the power of the collaborative process, the professional development of the individual artists and the strength of the collaborative aesthetic. The paper draws attention to the professional characteristics of the collaborative process which sees the artists involved in: (1) The Collaborative Aesthetic: the practice of merging individual artists' aesthetics and a sharing of technical and artistic skills towards the creation of an original "look" which sees the emergence of new symbols, images, colours and forms; (2) Team Production Skills: the practice of collaboration in production.

Parallels are drawn between this model and the collaborative design engagements of three groups of second-year Art Education students. The outcomes achieved and the processes explored by each group offer ideas for curriculum innovation and directions for aesthetic development when teachers embark on group design projects.