The purpose of this presentation is to explore, explain and reflect upon the mandate of design education that Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar has been tasked with in a multinational, multicultural environment. It attempts to address issues of the studio classroom like: what happens when cultural homogeneity is no longer the normative environment for design education? How do crossing international boundaries in the classroom affect learning about design? How does the students’ “background shape their foreground”1? What are the implications of design thinking when contrasted with internal and external behavioral responses defined by background? How does the process of introjection (the unconsciously internalized values that originate externally)2 influence the design process and the studio environment?
Cooper, David Earl. Ethics for Professionals in a Multicultural World. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004.