“Reflection is part of learning and thinking. We reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting, and the term ‘reflective learning’ emphasises the intention to learn from current or prior experience.” (Moon, 2004)
My current research investigates how ideas, systems, materials and things collide, entangled in the processes established by design praxis. The more I/we reflex on the design realm as a networked part of everyday social activities embedded in the natural and built environment, the more I can explode personal vista as a reflective practitioner.
Attending the HEA unit this summer enabled me to reflect on my current pedagogic engagement, as I am a member of a postgraduate academic team that nurtures collaborative teaching and learning. Further, the HEA UCA summer unit encouraged me to define the essential elements to engage more with the students in a learning process. This matches views on twenty first century learning skills (critical thinking, self‐led learning, collaboration), as well as views on contemporary employability skills (communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership and technology proficiency).
HEA Fellow Professional Recognition encouraged me to challenge my own perception of the links between reflection and action (Schon, 1983) in my design practice. To support the notion of reflective practice, one must firstly embrace the idea that practice is more than an exercise of technical skills, and secondly address the consequences of practice beyond just doing things.
As a practitioner, engaging in reflection in action (Schon, 1983) is the pivotal dynamic of my design research-led approach. Reflection is an acquired skill. Reflecting on what I have learned and transforming it into knowledge is an essential part of my interpretive narrative.
This year UCA has granted my practice, KraalD, a creative residency, which is operating under the working title Co Design Designedisposal X-Mass Tree. The project engages KraalD and MA Rochester students to act as co-designers, allocating and visually interpreting the reused plastic stream of UCA Rochester’s campus. The initial idea for inception of Co Design Designedisposal X-Mass Tree project is to explore collaborative aspects in a local context of sustainability. This approach thus unites social aspects with representational ones in a holistic way, incorporating Co-Design as an approach that I personally deem significant for exploratory pedagogy and critical practice at Higher Educational level.
Conclusively, the Creative Residence 2014/15 provided a case study example which I was able to evidence through my HEA portfolio and affirmed validation in terms of the UCA’s Professional Recognition Route towards HEA Fellowship accreditation.
Crouch , C., Pearce , J. (2012) Doing research in design. 1st ed. London – New York: Berg Publishers.
Moon, J.A. (2004) A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Schon, D.A. (1984) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
Fig.1 Katarina Dimitrijevic, 2015, Core Knowledge-PSF, UCA Rochester, UK.
Fig. 2 KraalD/UCA, 2015, Co-design designedisposal X-mass tree, photo Karl Grupe, UCA Rochester, UK.
Fig. 3 Designedisposal seminar, 2015, KraalD focus workshop, photo Agnė Bekeraitytė, UCA Rochester, UK.