The DIA supports the development and expansion of design education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
The DIA seeks to promote collaborative ventures between the profession and education, and to encourage research, post-graduate education and professional development in design.
The DIA seeks to influence the provision for design education in a non-prescriptive and consultative role in offering advice on professional competencies and future trends in the industry that might affect the curriculum for design training and education.
This paper is a statement of the DIA’s policy towards the collective responsibility of designers in an active involvement with education.
This statement has taken into account the findings of two major reports carried out in Australia in recent years: ‘Design Education in Australia for the 1990's and Beyond’ (RMIT 1991), and ‘The Responsiveness of Tertiary Education to the Design Needs of Australian Industry’ (Davis, B and Broadbent, J CTEC 1987).
Other references are listed towards the bottom of this page.
It also takes into account a broad view of design education that extends beyond the boundaries of professional training for designers.
The DIA appreciates that design education in Australia has evolved to the point where the provision of a trained workforce for professional career paths is no longer the sole goal for higher education.
Education through design, as well as education for professional practice, is a necessary development for design to be more widely understood in the general community.
Increased access to the design discipline through part-time and multi-mode courses is a natural consequence if society is to embrace the benefits of a creative and productive ethos that is characteristic of a design attitude.
The DIA offers consultative advice to institutions in the formulation of the aims, objectives and curriculum of design courses in Australia that have mechanisms in place involving the active participation of appointed members of the Institute in their accreditation processes and ongoing course advisory committees.
A minimum level of involvement is that at least one DIA representative should be on the course accreditation and advisory committees for each course or design discipline.
It is essential that courses conform to the guidelines set down by the relevant international organisations (IFI, ICOGRADA and ICSID).
The DIA reserves the right to withdraw DIA recognition when these conditions are not met, or where fundamental disagreement exists between the DIA representative on the advisory committee and the course team.
Personal professional membership of the DIA is conditional on a minimum period of education and training at a recognised institution, plus the required years of professional experience – (see the membership Points System).
The DIA will undertake through its State Councils, to find appropriate professionals who will advise and deliver professional knowledge and practices within course programs at the request of staff teams.
Visiting lectures and project assignments may be developed in collaboration with staff that will be intended to take the latest industrial practices into the education centres.
Visits by students to the professional design studios, and presentations on appropriate working methods will be facilitated through the network provided by the DIA membership.
Admission to public Design Forums organised in each State will be arranged for students who are registered on DIA recognised courses. Preferential rates may apply.
The DIA regards the acquisition by graduates of basic competencies in the relevant design disciplines as a fundamental training requirement for courses in design.
These competencies are of several levels of performance involved in the design activity:
At least as important is the development of personal skills that will enable a graduate to perform in the professional workplace.
These may be summarised as:
The Academy of Design Report (RMIT 1991) identified ‘an alarming low level of design research and post graduate training.’
The DIA recognises this inadequacy and seeks to encourage design research projects in collaboration with tertiary institutions, and the development of post-graduate education that contributes to the expansion of a body of knowledge and the fostering of design excellence.
The DIA will provide advice and support for educational institutions seeking research funding from bodies such as the Australian Research Council.
The DIA will facilitate joint education/industry scholarships for the purpose of research and scholarship in design.
Through the international network of the associated organisations, the DIA will provide contacts for research and consultancy in the major centres of design throughout the world.
The DIA recognises the importance of post-graduate study in enhancing professional design skills in the continuing development of practitioners in the field.
N.B. The implementation of the policies indicated in this statement is the responsibility of the DIA State Councils.
This statement provides a broad framework within which particular applications may be developed in relation to regional initiatives.
Design Education in Australia for the 1990's and Beyond
The Australian Academy of Design and the Key Centre for Design at RMIT 1991.
The Responsiveness of Tertiary Education to the Design Needs of Australian Industry
Davis, B and Broadbent, J: Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission 1987.
Analysing the Design Process: A Consultative Document Arts Training Australia 1992.
Winning by Design; The Corporate Role of Design in Australian Industry - A Project Report
The Warren Centre, University of Sydney, 1987.
Policy on Design Education and Training for the Nineties
Chartered Society of Designers (UK), 1993.
Report on Standards of Competencies Relating to Design
Industry Lead Body for Design (UK), 1991.
Vision and Change: S Review of Graphic Design Studies in Polytechnics and Colleges
Council for National Academic Awards (UK), 1990.
‘The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.’