Broadening Learning

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Dalia Sendra Rodriguez, Student, Ph.D. Candidate, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação (UNIDCOM/IADE), Portugal

P-English - Roots and Side Effects: Research into a Sub-lingual Script Emerging Out of the Internet View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Sam Anvari  

The growth of the Internet in Iran in the late 90s brought with it the beginning of a sub-script for communication on smartphones and other digital platforms. Iranian internet users utilize Roman English characters to phonetically convey messages in the Persian (Farsi) language, formally named “P-English sub-script.” Alphabet is the core element of written language and typography. It is the foundation of every civilization, so what happens when an imported technology imposes a cultural shift in written communication? This research observes the various impacts of P-English on Iranian writing and communication over the internet. Other nationalities such as Arabs, Chinese, and Korean have also developed such sub-script that emerged out of a lack of proper support for various writing systems in the early stages of the computer and internet revolution. While communicating in P-English can never be seen as a potential replacement for the Persian alphabet, it can act as an auxiliary tool to help convey Persian cultural values to the second generation of immigrants born outside of the motherland and inside Iranian families. P-English research aims to raise awareness about cultural values by showcasing its various practical shortcomings while analyzing its potential usage in street signs and bilingual design systems.

Olympic Graphics and Design Education: Lessons on Form, Social Transformation, and Overcoming the Unexpected View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Teresa Trevino  

Olympic graphics have served as a pedagogical instrument for design educators. Every four years, when the official upcoming design system goes public, new learning opportunities come along. Due to the scale of these events and its media coverage, design education should pay special attention and be critical of a global design strategy that should reflect design principles, innovation, and mostly a message that aligns with social justice and common good. This study considers how Olympic graphics are included in three design courses as subject of study and approached from three different perspectives to achieve unique goals. A first interest relies on the study of form and innovative ways to make it accessible for a diverse audience. An example of this is how permanent and ephemeral identities collide to represent cultural context. A second approach is the historic perspective as evidence of social transformation, where inclusion and representation play a key role exposing the evolution on this matter. Finally, a third and more complex perspective, is the study of Olympic graphics as testimonial of design as a professional practice that demands ethical and resilient designer to successfully face and overcome unexpected events, constant change, public opinion, ethical dilemmas and by this, impact society in a positive way.

Between Practice, Pedagogy, and Place: How Auto-Ethnographic Reflection Can Guide Design Educators in a Divided Country

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Johnathon Strube,  Dave Pabellon  

Two design educators, initially based in the same metropolis, contrast experiences transitioning from private practice to education using auto-ethnographic reflection to understand how social and cultural context can affect pedagogical impact. As their academic careers have evolved, they reflect on how their practice and pedagogy have addressed the need to challenge theoretical design concepts, mediate cultural differences, navigate institutional systems, work through political differences, and reframe a design philosophy due to changing geographical environments. In the United States, graphic design education grapples with professional grooming and free thinking. Yet, outside of institutional accreditation, there is no standard for student preparation or professional certification. Thus, individual educators define course curricula based on professional practice, research interests, or lived experiences—preparing designers with various skill sets, understandings, and influences. This research uses qualitative classroom case studies and quantitative institutional statistics to illuminate these contrasts. The results expose micro and macro relationships, such as one-on-one mentoring versus classroom transaction; education as customer service versus exploratory access; design history craft versus design history context; practical methodologies versus analytical criticism; guided ingenuity versus stylistic mimicry; and hardware-centered tutorial learning versus experimental curiosity. This work is reflective and will contribute to understanding the evolution of graphic design education in the United States. As institutions emerge from a global pandemic and reflect cultural divisions, individual educators will redefine the value of design education within our society. The challenge is to understand and leverage the nuance of voice—faculty and students alike—can connect our spaces, places, and people.

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