A Chaotic Intervention: Creativity and Peer Learning in Design Education

Authors


Contact address: Design and Social Context, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia. Email: kylie.budge@rmit.edu.au

Contact address: School of Fashion & Textiles, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia. Email: claire.beale@rmit.edu.au

Contact address: School of Fashion & Textiles, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia. Email: emma.lynas@rmit.edu.au

Abstract

Peer feedback and critique is integral to the creative practice of studio-based textile designers. In a creative learning context, how do students perceive the role of peer feedback and critique? What conditions do students identify as being important to stimulating creativity in a collaborative peer feedback and critique-driven learning environment?

This article highlights research conducted in one undergraduate textile design programme of an urban Australian university based on a small-scale designed learning intervention. Our study set out to explore: (1) what students thought about creativity; (2) the conditions which supported its development; and (3) the role of peer learning and critique in the learning experience of design students in a studio-based environment. Qualitative data were collected from students about their views on creativity, peer learning and the intersection of these two areas both prior to and after the intervention. Staff observations and reflections were also explored. Findings include an increased awareness of the role of peer learning in the creative process for the majority of students. For staff, important revelations unfolded about the role of the group in peer learning and critiques, the elusive nature of creativity itself, the inherent nature of creative disciplines, and the importance of particular physical and mental environment(s) in creative studio-based learning and teaching.

This study highlighted that studio-based learning environments (involving peer feedback and critique as a critical component of the creative process) need to consider the group dynamic at play and carefully design learning interventions accordingly.

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