Studio of Experimental Design
Studio as a space for freedom of creation.
A far-reaching impact of design today does not only include product creation, enhancement of its aesthetic and functional level but also design of innovative constructive solutions, systems in which the product exists, whether in the sphere of sales or their liquidation. Yet, it offers more than this. Today design also intervenes in designing a broader framework of the functioning of society as such through the so-called design thinking. Design moves from a product to service. The impact of digital technologies cannot also be ignored as they pose new questions and doubt established design thinking at the level of its creation, production, and users.
Another point is that it is often controversially perceived. On the one hand there stands a notion that the role of design and a designer is to make the world better and bring about new solutions to problems and on the other hand we are talking about the so called “ designer´s paradox”, who strives to make the world better by designing products and bringing about innovations which are causing resource and energy consumption, and environmental pollution. That represents only a partial solution within a system that is intrinsically unsustainable.
In the next point we follow a very simplified perception of design as a pop discipline, which is primarily geared towards profit and consumption increase, which influences its status in the cultural hierarchy as less valuable art. On the other hand, we can see that design can perform the mission as a means of personal and cultural expression, which can also exceed the impact of art.
In recent years, there have been discussions on the necessity to alter the paradigm and reassessment of seemingly unchanging positions of design in the world, which is slowly shifting into an intangible digital space in the background of the impending climate crisis.
The studio or school is an “incubator”, which provides students with a space for freedom of creation. However, this does not mean that this is an isolated environment. Reflections and critical review of the state of the studied field, as well as perception of a broader social, cultural, political, social or environmental context are important factors in the teaching process.
This serves as a basis for the ideological framework of assignments which proceed from thinking in basic terms such as material, form, function, technology, through tackling the relation between an object and environment to more complex assignments. This means that they follow the entire process related to design creation, its function in relation to the user and its role in society. It is all about design research with an emphasis on the authentic authorial vision and attitude.
When solving assignments the key word is PROCESS, which is not only a means of achieving the goal but also the goal itself. Learning in the process means courage to experiment, make mistakes, discover, progress but also stagnate. The result might be but doesn´t have to be a materialized object – the object. The degree of knowledge, experience and competence gained is essential. The logical outcome is the presentation of one´s own research and its results connected with the development of communication skills, argumentation and critical thinking.
The emphasis will be also placed on the development of craft skills, not only in terms of traditional understanding but also in working with digital tools. As Juhani Pallasmaa says in his book ´The Thinking Hand´, “in today´s culture, the emphasis is on virtual and visual. The importance of the body in the process of developing creative intelligence is neglected.” Touch with the material (real or virtual) and its processing by the tool is an important catalyst in the process of searching and discovering new solutions.
The graduate of the studio is primarily prepared for independent designer praxis in the field of authorial creation. They are able to apply results of their research in the product development designated for a small series production or more precisely in creation of limited editions for the corporate environment.
Assoc. Prof. MA Sylvia Jokelová
Head of Studio of Experimental Design