Establishing a Rhetorical Framework for Professional Practice Through the Educational Design Studio: an Exploratory Study Protocol

Myra Thiessen, Veronika Kelly, Jennifer Williams

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


Although there appears to be a clear link between design and rhetoric within design practice, our understanding of whether design students are developing necessary rhetorical skills as part of their visual communication design education remains relatively limited. This is problematic because the changing role of the designer demands the ability to not only foresee and anticipate future need and means for social interaction but to propose and clearly communicate to clients, stakeholders, and a diverse public the relevance, reliability, and desirability of particular design solutions. In this paper we discuss our method for exploring and examining how visual communication design students understand rhetoric and whether they are able to draw on this practice when discussing their work. Formal in-class studio critiques provide an opportunity to examine the use of rhetorical devices (ethos, pathos, and logos) and means to determine and analyse the current understanding of rhetorical practice in educational design studios. This study is part of on-going research and by presenting our method for this exploratory phase we aim to facilitate discussion around its viability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProoceedings of the Cumulus Conference, Milano 2015
Subtitle of host publicationThe Virtuous Circle - Design Culture and Experimentation
EditorsLuisa Collina, Laura Galluzzo, Anna Meroni
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherMcGraw-Hill Education
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9788838694059
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventCumulus - International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media 2015 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 3 Jun 20157 Jun 2015


ConferenceCumulus - International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media 2015
Abbreviated titleCUMULUS 2015


  • rhetoric
  • rhetorical practice
  • visual communication design
  • educational design studio

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