Facing the Fourth Industrial Revolution: empowering (human) design agency and capabilities through experimental learning

Massimo Bianchini, Stefano Maffei


This article identifies and describes the transformation of designer skills within the Great Transformation (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014) as defined by many economists and sociologists. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2014) is a paradigm shift enabled by the convergence of technological changes - biotech, nanotech, 3D printing, robotics, big data and AI - that significantly influence the nature of work, the design and materialization of products and services, as well as their market, their structure, and their relations with human agents. This systemic process also changes the design field, its cultural and socio-economic structures, its traditional domains, and its consolidated practices. We witness both new opportunities for, but threats to, the conventional system of human imaginative and operational capacities that are changing how they can be learned. The re-discussion of the design(er) role affects the structure and meaning of the discipline, as well as the processes, places, and capacities that can generate learning. Design education is a core component of this change. It is so for those who will be shortly become designers and for retrofitting the knowledge and skills of practitioners and educators. This article reviews the principal studies and theories on the transformation of the production system and the market. Its focus is on the structural factors which enable identification of the leading transformational drivers of the experimental-experiential learning which will become the basis upon which changes in design education and design/designer skills will be defined considering the growth of open and distributed socio-technical systems in our contemporary society.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4013/sdrj.2020.131.06


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Esta obra está licenciada com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional [atualizada em 11/11/2016]

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