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Effectiveness of Introducing Emotional Concerns in Undergraduate Design Curricula

Amic G. Ho
The Open University of Hong Kong, School of Arts & Social Sciences, Hong Kong SAR

Abstract—Scholars generally recognize that satisfying users’ various demands for creative and interesting design outcomes is one of the main challenges in the current design industry. After completing an undergraduate design curriculum, designers are expected to create design outcomes that are both innovative and user-friendly. Thus, to equip designers with the ability to generate innovative ideas, design education should include training on cognitive thinking. Using ideas from cognitive thinking can leverage an individual’s tacit knowledge. Most studies have advocated rational education methods, and most educators teach design students through problem-based methods that focus on building problem-solving skills. However, many design students cannot resolve their design problems through human-centered approaches. This implies the presence of other hidden factors that hinder the design process of these students. Some research on emotion in design has identified emotional concerns as a possible key factor for enhancing the decision-making and creativity of learners. However, few studies have explored the relationship between design curriculum and emotion. In response, this study examined the relationship between emotion and design curriculum to help educators recognize the need for introducing emotional concerns in the study of design, which can equip undergraduates who are entering the constantly-changing design industry. A field experiment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of applying emotional concerns concepts in design curricula, and the evaluation of emotional concerns was discovered to be necessary from a learning and education perspective. Hence, educators should be aware of and understand the nature of emotion in design and how its power might be taught when constructing a design curriculum. 

Index Terms—emotional concerns, design curriculum, design process, decision-making

Cite: Amic G. Ho, "Effectiveness of Introducing Emotional Concerns in Undergraduate Design Curricula," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 88-93, March 2018. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.4.1.88-93