Reflections on Innovative pedagogies series: Wow: The power of objects in object-based learning and teaching by Dr Kirsten Hardie

I find this is a well-structured way to learn to be curious. All her 3 case studies were conducted on 80+ students (in groups) which is similar to my teachings. Product design students need this! This activity provokes students to understand/learn in various ways: aesthetics, judgement, observation, analyse, meaning, drawing, visual literacy, key issues and context, etc. Students need to learn to push the boundaries, be on the “cutting edge” and be “unusual”.

Such activity can be identified as “reflection in action” (Schön, 1983): students reflect, evaluate & take action and make decisions during the activity.

Objects are important in Product Design. They can relive/retell the experience of the owner who owns the object and how one can relate one’s experience of this item with another person. An astonished “wow” or “oooh” as an acknowledgement for those who are familiar with that item and can either be unique/unusual or truly original.

Perhaps, the aim of OBL is to move away from describing beyond function and purpose to taste and enquiry. The concept of Enquiry Based Learning does resonate well with the object and the viewer and generates spontaneity, interest and engagement in the subject matter.

The plastic problem is now under a lot of scrutiny and the MODIPs relevance has shifted into mass produced. This is interesting to note.

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