About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2304-2310
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1489

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain


C. Bruno, G. Salvia, M.R. Canina

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
Contemporary education faces the challenge of teaching and learning key competences for students to strive as the next generation workers in the contemporary world characterised by rapid and profound transformation. In particular, the current societal trend of ‘making’ for laypeople especially enabled by rapid manufacturing and digital technologies is questioning the role of professional designers in a word where – as also design literature reports – ‘everybody is a designer’ (Manzini 2015; Cross 2011).

The objective of this paper is presenting our preliminary reflections about the digitally enabled self-production trend (aka digital DIY) as a means for students to develop and improve the key competences to face the complexity of contemporary age

This set of cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills generally recognised of fundamental importance for the next generation labour market, social cohesion and active citizenship comprises not only technical and engineering knowledge, but also creativity and critical thinking, effective communication and collaboration, plus a range of personal qualities such as motivation, curiosity, self-development and -management.

Such key competences have been widely defined and work programmes have been activated to promote their application among the educational and work fields. In Europe, key competences represent the pillars of the Lifelong Learning programme edited by the European Commission (2006/962/EC). Across the United States some promoter (i.e. the Partnership for the 21st century skills, National Research Council) are trying to merge education, business, community and government leaders around these competences, mainly known as 21st century skills (The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2008).

Since the last decades of the 20th century, research in learning processes have suggested the importance of making and doing as a means to foster the acquisition of these skills, especially the creative ones. Digital DIY is here envisaged as a creative practice in which people – including design students – may increase their self-confidence and empowerment. Rooted in design and construction, these digital making activities often emphasise the acquisition of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, cross disciplinarity and collaboration.

Within the framework of the EU funded project ‘Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY), we are going to explore the dynamics facilitating the acquisition of the key competences in this practice.We introduce a model representing the dynamics (over three levels; social innovation, social practice and creative process) and factors (i.e. technology, motivation and collaboration) for learning and skilling in this context.
As design researchers, we aim at contributing by developing (co)design-driven tools facilitating the identification of the skilling dynamics in place where digital DIY practice takes place.

In this specific paper we will firstly define such competencies as a result of a comparative study from literature analysis and then argue why they are developed through digital DIY. Finally, we will conclude with the proposal of transferring the skilling dynamics identified in digital DIY to education system.
author = {Bruno, C. and Salvia, G. and Canina, M.R.},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.1489},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.1489},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2304-2310}}
AU - C. Bruno AU - G. Salvia AU - M.R. Canina
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.1489
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 2304
EP - 2310
ER -
C. Bruno, G. Salvia, M.R. Canina (2016) DIGITAL MAKING AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 2304-2310.