Design Academia - 国公立デザイン系大学会議

Inter-Faculty Educational Collaboration: A New Framework for Design

Sapporo City University is a new university in Japan that opened in 2006. It is characterized by a unique initiative in which only two faculties, the Faculty of Design and the Faculty of Nursing, and the undergraduate education of the faculties are linked. The collaboration between the two faculties extends not only to education but also to research and university management. We have fostered interdisciplinary relationships for more than 13 years and termed it as D x N.

The question “What is the significance of the academic collaboration of design and nursing?” is one of the questions often asked by many university officials. To us, the close collaboration on education and research is surprisingly worthwhile. Nursing Studies is a discipline that focused on humans from the perspective of life and health and emphasized human observation. From the perspective of a person, it can be said that this is a discipline based on human behavior more than medicine. As for Design Studies, it is a discipline that strives to improve the environment in various ways based on human observation. When it comes to observing humans and designing things, environments, and artifacts, the two areas share ideas. To our university, this is the significance of the collaboration.

In Nursing, Studies, the emphasis is placed on human functional aspects such as life, death and health. However, to realize these aspects of human life, it is necessary to solve the emotional issues of design. In Design Studies, various ideas are created to enrich human life, but a useful design will not be possible without guaranteeing that humans live healthily. Young people need to learn not only to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills but also to develop eyes for observing humans from a broader perspective.

Sapporo City University imposes a mandatory class on project learning in collaboration between the faculties for students in the first to third years of the four years of university education. While the curriculum deepens the students’ knowledge and skills in the specialization, once a year, the students come together to gain broader perspectives and practicing what they learnt in this project.

▲Sapporo City University Inter-Faculty Collaboration Education Program

Sapporo City University: View on Design

In the Faculty of Design, for the first ten years, we had four courses designed to specialize in various form of design output: spatial design, product design, content design, and media design. After that, we created and developed a new educational curriculum based on the design trends in the world. They are the Spatial Design for Human Life Course and the Communication Design for Human Life Course. These courses are not differentiated by general design outputs such as space and information. They are constructed from the viewpoint of how to grasp the basis of design.

In Spatial Design for Human Life Course, the course is developed from social science design methods that focus on the dynamism created by the people in society. In Communication Design for Human Life Course, the course is developed from human science design methods that are created by capturing from cognitive science, ergonomics, kansei engineering. The structure of the curricula is the projection of the design in our country, ten years from now. Over the past decade, many design fields have fused and evolved, leading the current design world. I am convinced that systematic design education unique to Sapporo City University, such as “What is the basis to start thinking about design?”, will lead the design world in the future.

▲Design-related areas of Sapporo City University School of Design


(Sapporo City University School of Design)