A keynote talk responding to the theme of ‘Design Economies – Connecting the Academy to Creative Industries’ set by Zayed University, UAE:
Bridging the gap that often exists between the academy and practice(s) is challenging, especially within locations that tend to define design as embellishment. The presentation discusses pedagogical approaches that employ context-specific spatial and formal explorations as a means of developing the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for design. The presentation also considers the role that education can play in preparing for, as well as transcending, narrowly defined design profession(s).
Professor Kevin Mitchell has contributed to design education in the Gulf region since 1999. In addition to design work and teaching courses in architecture, interior design and the Foundations Year, he has served in a number of administrative positions at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), including Director of the Foundations Year, Associate Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Instruction, Interim Provost, and Chancellor. Professor Mitchell’s teaching has been recognized in the American Institute of Architect’s Education Honor Award Program and he has received the AUS University Award for Teaching Excellence. Professor Mitchell has published widely on architecture, design and urbanism in the Gulf, and he continues to work with colleagues on initiatives that advance architecture and design in the region and support the development of future generations of designers.