In 2010, the IDRV conducted a broad web-based survey to find out about current practices of design history teaching as well as interests and future needs of learners at universities. About 400 European and American students and graduates in the fields of design, architecture and graphic design took part. The results not least served as a basis for conceptualizing a prototype of the IDRV Design Lectures, an interactive learning application for the iPad which presents the era of modern classic design in a new didactic style.
Here is an overview of some important findings:
Fig. 1: We asked the interviewed students and graduates about the relevance of design history knowledge in the daily life of a practical designer. 45% think it is “very important”, another 44% chose “rather important”. Therefore, the vast majority is of the opinion that knowing the roots and former mechanisms of product and furniture design should play an important role even for Today’s creatives.
Fig. 2: Here, the focus was on various historical design styles and schools (like Bauhaus or the arts & crafts movement) and whether they were part of the students’ design history course or not. Whereas 90% of all interviewees discussed the Bauhaus, only 50% did study the Viennese Workshop (Wiener Werkstätte).
Fig. 3: What aspects of the history of design have the highest relevance to students? What would they like to study most within an ideal course? The analysis of the survey shows an interesting result: Whereas the areas of interior design and furniture design might not be as appealing as you would think, the majority of the interviewees would love to hear more about the social and cultural “Zeitgeist” of an epoch.
Fig. 4: What are the Top 5 student wishes to an web-based course on the history of product and furniture design? Self-determination seems to be most wanted. 95% of the interviewed students would love to choose between various topics and materials and therefore adjust the course to their personal interests. The appearance of the e-lecture also plays an important role. It has to look nice, at least.