Presentation@2nd Annual Winter School Design Summit

January 25, 2017 3:26 PM

Peter Scupelli gave a talk on “How might design educators teach to Transition Design?” at The Glasgow School of Art’s 2nd Annual Winter School Design Summit in Scotland.  The theme of this year’s summit was Innovation from Tradition, and explored the relationship between culture and economy, between design and its consumption, as a means of formulating alternative economic and social arrangements for living, exemplified by rural living and a non-industrialized economy.  The summit hoped to turn a network of known entities into a fledgling community, to shift pedagogies into share practices and to establish a platform for future exchanges.

Students and faculty from KADK Copenhagen and KISD Cologne, the PhD cohort of Konstfack Stockholm and Glasgow School of Art’s PGT (Postgraduate Taught) Masters in Design Innovation as well as their PGR (Postgraduate Research) students participated.


How might design educators transition their courses to educate the next generations of designers to transition design to achieve sustainable futures? Design educators are caught between competing challenges: first, teaching well-established design traditions based on craft and making; and second, training students to situate their artifact making within transitional times in a volatile and exponentially changing world. Design educators can navigate such tensions  by linking the core of their discipline in relation to an expanding periphery where multiple disciplines interact. Teaching to transition design introduces a interesting teaching and learning design challenges. While the first formal presentation of Transition Design by Terry Irwin, Cameron Tonkinwise, and Gideon Kossoff occurred in 2013, there were many conversations among faculty and students leading to up to it. In this paper, I describe five courses that I taught at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design from 2011 to 2016. Through this case study, I describe how one newly hired faculty member began to integrate the new vision for the School of Design based on Transition Design in the courses I taught to undergraduates and graduate students. The new Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral curriculum were deployed in fall semester 2014. The intended audience for this paper is faculty and students that are nervous and excited about undergoing curricular changes.

Last updated: 3:26 pm