The Neue Sehen (New Vision) of Future Design Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Limited research has been published from academics in design exploring how degrees of ‘closeness’ affect learning and teaching, though scholars in economic geography have postulated the “death of geography” as a result of digitization. To justify the importance of spatial immediacy in developing experiential qualitative learning, Northumbria University initiated an Open Studio at The Bauhaus, Dessau with interior design students, to gain pedagogical insights into the relationships between environmental volume, human interaction and spatial
adjacency. Firstly, students interrogated new spatial principles comparing teaching and transitional spaces against the properties of these environments that assist formal and informal learning. The resulting wall friezes, diagrams and models defined how space 'within' and ‘without’ the design studio can inform, perform and reform the knowledge experience. Secondly, a series of drawing exercises investigated the potential impact of physical closeness versus distant digital instruction (organizational proximity) on effective communication and
learning. These mimicked learning settings used by current design students: email-based discussion, face-to-face studio collaboration and communication via social media. The results indicated that distant digital learning was significantly misleading and revealed how variation in human proximities can influence learning with unique and powerful effects, particularly in relation to perceived versus actual distance between peers, tutors and environment. We propose to extend this line of enquiry with a ‘digital proximity’ workshop, advocating a new relevance for physical versus distant learning in education to trigger and justify new styles of scholarship, underpinned by the philosophy of Gropius to create "the new construction of the future together”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe IAFOR Conference on Educational Research and Innovation (ERI2019)
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2019
EventThe IAFOR Conference on Education Research & Innovation: Learning Beyond Boundaries - Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States
Duration: 6 May 20198 May 2019

Publication series

NameIAFOR Conference series
ISSN (Print)2433-7587
ISSN (Electronic)2433-7544


ConferenceThe IAFOR Conference on Education Research & Innovation
Abbreviated titleERI2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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