11. Futuring design education for a future

Tony Fry (University of Tasmania and University of Ibagué, Colombia)


For design to realise its potential and meet the needs of a contemporary world in crisis the agenda of design education has to be transformed. This article identifies the origins of design’s current condition of limitation as service provision in the development of the teaching of design, specifically at The Open University. It proposes six premises to achieve change that address questions of ethics and restrictive practices. They recommend an expanded and more strategic approach to the form and content of design education, openness to unlearn in order to enable new learning, progressive leadership, and willingness to establish autonomous design practices.

Keywords: education, design, Anthropocene, ethics, unlearning, crisis, change, leadership

Full text: OAJ_Issue9_Fry_Final (PDF 1.5 MB).

DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2020w11

Biographical note 

Tony Fry is director of The Studio at the Edge of the World (www.thestudioattheedgeoftheworld.com), Adjunct Professor in Architecture and Design at The University of Tasmania, and Visiting Professor at the University of Ibagué, Colombia. He is the author of numerous books on design, cities, and conflict. His most recent book is Unstaging War (Palgrave, 2019). His 1999 book, on defuturing, reprinted in Autumn 2020 and retitled as Defuturing: A New Design Philosophy, is in a new Bloomsbury series on ‘Radical Thinkers in Design’ (in which John Chris Jones is included). Tony also has Design in Crisis in press, a book he has edited with philosopher of technology Adam Nocek.