At the Table: Scribbles & Stories on Teaching Design

Luke M. Anspach

Before me is a potluck spread out on a vast table; each dish representing a design educator’s pedagogy. I, too, am contributing a pedagogical plate to the table but am unclear as to what dish I am holding, warm within my hands. It was never my intention to teach in higher education and, like many designers who find themselves in a classroom, I was never formally taught how to teach. In light of this, the following thesis is an autoethnography of collected essays, reflections, stories, and sketches exploring my teaching practice within the field of graphic design. What does my experiential, imaginative, and reflective teaching pedagogy look like and where did it come from? 

I observe the influences informing my methods and philosophy prior to entering a classroom, alongside the valuable experience of my graduate studies. I then examine specific ingredients used in my pedagogy: direct, indirect, and collateral learning outcomes, playfulness, metaphor, and facilitation. In reflection, I comment on varying design orientations in the practice of teaching graphic design and respond to them by emphasizing the themes of mindfulness and intentionality. 

This thesis both forms my pedagogical dish and represents my introduction to design education.