In the historical context, design knowledge was applied to promote the production of handcrafts, which was treated as an important sector for its ability to support the economic growth in developing nations in Asia, Africa, and South America. In this context, the modern design practices were introduced by the Westerns and applied as a secondary layer to the production of quality crafts ready for export to international markets, specifically Western European markets. The postcolonial politics in developing countries neglected craft-making traditions in their societies, preferred promoting design practices, which were treated as a manifestation of modernity and the optimal vehicle to transform toward industrialisation. These contradictions are reflected in the context and teaching practices of design education in these countries, which addressing design practices intensely dependent on artistic foundations and know-how concerning crafts and artisan skills and their benefit in adding value to man-made objects through surface ornamentation.
Dr Saad is a senior lecturer in the School of Design and the Built Environment. He is an Iraqi industrial designer living in exile since 1991, holding BA, MA & PhD in Industrial Design. He taught design and held an number of academic leadership roles since 1984 in Iraq, Jordan, New Zealand, Egypt, Germany, and recently here in Australia.