Doing Language Together: Collaborative Writing Practice for Design Teams in Higher Education

Lockheart, Julia Margaret. 2016. Doing Language Together: Collaborative Writing Practice for Design Teams in Higher Education. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis offers and evaluates collaborative writing practices for teams of Design students at M-Level in Higher Education (HE). The research begins by asking why writing is included in current art and design HE, and identifies an assumption about the role of writing across the sector derived from a misreading of the 1960 and 1970 Coldstream Reports. As a result, drawing on recommendations that were made in the Reports for non-studio studies to be complementary to art and design practice in HE, I focus on how teams of design students can complement their design skills with collaborative writing. Some studies for addressing how design students learn from writing in HE already exist, but none have established a practice-centred teaching method for collaborative writing for design teams at M-level. My research captures the effects of my Approaches, Practices and Tools (APTs) across three case study workshops. I compare these with the most common writing model in HE designed for text-based study in the humanities.

My APTs use participants' designerly strengths to redesign how they can use writing to complement their practice. This provides learners with a means of identifying and creating their own situated writing structures and practices. I document how my practice-centred APTs position collaborative writing practices as a designerly mode of communication between design practitioners working in teams. I show it to be more complementary to practice and so more effective in comparison to models imported from the humanities. My explorations are carried out through two thesis sections. Section One is an in-depth literature-based rationale that critically informs my investigations. Section Two presents my methodologies and reports three case studies, in which I explore the emergent data collected through a range of qualitative methods, mapping and evaluative techniques. The findings are of importance to those teaching M-Level design courses.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Design, languaging, collaborative writing, design teams, M-level, academic literacies, writing practice, higher education, multi-literacies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 May 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2016 10:07

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 15:24


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