The writings of Nigel Cross (2006) guided my efforts, supporting my concern about the neglected importance of design in education. In a nutshell, Cross asserts that there has long been two dominant cultures in education: the sciences, and the arts and humanities. Each brings its own values, methods, and phenomena of study to education.
- In the sciences: the natural world
- In the humanities: human experience
- In design: the artificial world
– (Cross, 2006, p.2)
Design is positioned as a third (missing) culture, bridging the practical, innovative, technical and designerly processes of inquiry that lead to the development of designerly ways of knowing (2006, p.9).
“Perhaps it would be better to regard the ‘third culture’ as technology, rather than design. This ‘material culture’ of design is, after all, the culture of the technologist – of the designer, doer and maker. Technology involves a synthesis of knowledge and skills from both the sciences and the humanities, in the pursuit of practical tasks; it is not simply ‘applied science’, but ‘the application of scientific and other organized knowledge to practical tasks’” (p.2).