1984 DESIGN IN EDUCATION COUNCIL AUSTRALIA – Conference poster and logo

Around 1980 a small group of us in Canberra initiated the Design in Education Council Australia (DECA) – Noeline Naar, Lola de Mar, Ray Green, Ilona Lasmanis, Judith Parker, and me – all convinced that the huge subject area of design could play a large role in the education of children toward a more rounded, inclusive education. The logo above symbolised the many directions such a discipline could include, leading in a two and three dimensional way toward a well-rounded education – all linked together by a discipline of design enquiry and ultimate resolution with maximum benefit. It epitomises the definition of design that has shaped my design practice ever since 1965 :

Good design is always the optimum solution to the sum of the true needs of a particular set of circumstances.
Ted Matchett , teacher, philosopher and director of the West of England Employers’ Federation

See my life story entry about the Design Methodology course I took in 1965 in Bristol for three weeks – the most formative and influential mind-changing brain exercise I have ever engaged in – it has shaped my career ever since and should be introduced into the school curriculum at the same fundamental level as numeracy and literacy which are tools for an educated life. I would go further to say that design is a tool that can be used to create or facilitate the solving of problems through creativeness and great satisfaction.

The logo was used as the visual centrepoint for the Third National Conference held in Canberra in 1984.

Sadly, the teaching profession that held sway over what is to be taught in Australian schools was able to prevent such challenging and stimulating ideas from taking hold in the traditional, established curriculum.

The concept of the DECA organisation was that it rotate around the State cities and following the conference the administration went to Sydney where it slowly disappeared to infinity.

Its day will come.