The becoming of a designer: An affective pedagogical approach to modelling and scaffolding risk-taking

Lisa Grocott, Kate McEntee, Kathryn Coleman, Roger Manix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Current design practice is as much about understanding behaviour and culture as it is about material intelligence. Relevant, effective design is about working with people rather than for people. As we acknowledge this paradigm, we also recognize the need to better understand our individual selves to better understand others. This article details the affective pedagogy behind the Transforming Mindsets studio, which directly addresses explicit teaching of intrapersonal skills in learning to design with others in authentic inquiry-based assessment. This empirical educational study utilized observational data, self-reporting tools, interviews and a six-month followup interview with students to observe how risk plays a role in shifting learning mindsets. Students reported that the experimental studio changed their relationship with learning, strengthened their willingness to take risks and improved the quality of their collaborations. However, post-studio interviews revealed the challenge of integrating intrapersonal skills and practices into future learning contexts. This article proposes the importance of design education considering not just how the designer creates but also how the designer acts and becomes in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalArt, Design & Communication in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • design education
  • risk-taking
  • intrapersonal skills
  • studio pedagogy
  • mindset
  • embodied learning
  • becoming
  • serious play

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