The relevance of academic writing in design education: academic writing as a tool for structuring reasons | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1753-5190
  • E-ISSN: 1753-5204


This paper focuses on the current function of academic writing for design education within Sweden. It argues that in its present form academic writing is used to explain the final result by accounting for the process, but it would be much more useful to designers if the form were modified to fit the purpose of justifying a design solution. Interpretations of the academic report as chronologically telling about the process have, in Swedish design education, resulted in muddled texts where the final results are absent or hidden in the lengthy description of the process. The academic report fulfils its function because it is a construction. Its form includes explication of the research-process because this process determines the reliability and/or validity of the new knowledge arrived at. An excellent design-process does not, however, guarantee excellent design: a design-solution is justified only by solving the problem. Adjusted to this purpose, academic writing could become a useful tool, helping students to grasp which explicit reasons and grounds may support their definition of the problem, outline how their design may be a solution to it, and also show where reasons and grounds may prove to be poor. Writing, in a modified academic form, can become a useful and integrated tool in design education, primarily if the intellectual skill developed through this writing is useful also for the practitioner.


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