International Graphic Communication Field Trip to Japan (21-26 January 2018)
International Graphic Communication is a module that provides students with the opportunity to understand the role of design and the designer in a wider cultural, political and social context. It aims to introduce students to local and/or global design and design issues through engagement with outside agencies, groups or cultures, which may present opportunities for collaboration.
Osaka prefecture covers the smallest prefecture land area in Japan, but boasts of the largest population and highest population density second only after the capital, Tokyo. Since it is close to former capitals of Japan Kyoto and Nara, it prospered as an important point for land and water transportation as well as a commercial city. Osaka is a mixture of old and new, where visitors are as likely to find the latest fashion trends as traditional kimonos. Many of the city’s historical monuments were destroyed during World War II, but many have been rebuilt in their original style to offer an attractive contrast to the otherwise industrial landscape.
Therefore, Osaka was selected for 24 BA (Hons) in Graphic Communication Design students of Jan-Mar 2017 semester, in search for inspiration, while learning about the unique Japanese culture. This 6-day, 5 night trip that was organised by 2 lecturers aimed at widening the students’ perspective on design issues such as culture, heritage, global visual aesthetics and media experience in a foreign country.
The learning objectives of this educational trip were in line with the module’s learning objectives, which are, upon the completion of the module the students will be able to:
- Demonstrate critical thinking through examining sources that articulate the tenants of diverse contemporary opinions concerning relevant international graphic communication practices.
- Apply various design skills, experimental and/or innovatively, with an emphasis on issues such as diversity, social & personal responsibility and self-expression.
- Understand another culture, within the context of graphic design communication.
- Enhance students’ understanding and outlook on global design.
The trip to Osaka played a critical role in supporting the students’ learning in this module, as students gained real-world experience. Prior to the trip, lectures on relevant topics, which served to provide vital knowledge, were delivered in class. The lecturers facilitated the students’ learning and research process through a series of research materials and field study.
Upon the completion of this trip and participation in all class lectures and tutorials, the students produced a visual outcome that encompassed their understanding, experience, reflecting their ability to think critically about cultural and design issues.