Research Output

Design Education without Borders: How Students Can Engage with a Socially Conscious Pedagogy as Global Citizens

  This study examines the student experience of a third sector graphic design project in an international context. Inspired by a humanist and socially conscious perspective that was originally set out by Ken Garland's ‘First Things First’ manifesto in 1964, the project developed into a collaborative learning experience for African and European students. The aim of this project was to develop student global citizenship and mobility through a cultural learning experience in a very different environment with challenging resources and social conditions. Using student interviews and evidence from their reflective journals, this article analyses how UK design students participated and negotiated the implementation of live projects in an African context, specifically Mozambique. It also examines the wider impact on the cohort of students and friends who did not travel to Africa but followed the experience online. Risk taking, experimentation and an appetite for enquiry are attributes that students are encouraged to develop, but they can equally apply to teachers and lecturers as they develop their curricula. Within the framework of university learning, teaching and assessment strategies space can be found for design educators to look beyond corporate and conventional consumer outlets to a more socially conscious and community focus without borders.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    17 May 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    NC Drawing Design Illustration

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    740 Drawing & decorative arts

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Macdonald, I., & MacLeod, M. (2018). Design Education without Borders: How Students Can Engage with a Socially Conscious Pedagogy as Global Citizens. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 37(2), 312-324. doi:10.1111/jade.12117



Graphic design, Internationalisation, global citizenship, higher education, post-colonialism,

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