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Title: Meeting the new needs : design research education in China
Authors: Siu, KWM 
Keywords: Design research program
Theory study
Practical exploration
Issue Date: 2010
Source: Research in higher education journal, 2010, v. 6, no. March, p. 157-173 How to cite?
Journal: Research in higher education journal 
Abstract: Design research education is still in its infant stage in China. This situation implies not only that the overall organization of most programs is immature, but also that many programs have unbalanced objectives and content. It is a fact that research programs in some particular conventional disciplines and subjects have been running in China for a long time, with a good track record in research studies and outputs. Design, with its definitions, nature and objectives is a comparatively new discipline/subject. Since the 1990s, some universities in China have claimed that they have offered design research programs. When reviewing the program plans, objectives, content, and ways of assessment, it is not difficult to notice that most of these programs are fine-art or engineering oriented. In addition, most of these programs in China that practice exploration are still biased towards theory study, as distinct from the emphasis on practical exploration in western design research programs in recent years, which in China is rarely taken into serious consideration. Thus, this paper reviews the development and situation of design research programs in China. It then identifies the unbalance between "theory study" and "practical exploration" (sometimes called "experimental exploration") in the programs in China as compared to those in western countries. By looking at the three major aspects (i.e. policy, implementation, management), this paper advocates that only a balance in theory study and practical exploration in design research programs can meet the new needs.
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