Design Educators Conference Webinar: 21st Century Higher Education Faces a Variety of Challenges & Curricular Hegemony

The RGD is pleased to announce the Design Educators Conference Webinar: 21st Century Higher Education Faces a Variety of Challenges & Curricular Hegemony and Design Education.


In 2021, the 5th Design Educators Conference will consist of: 2 Keynote Presentations and 12 Themed Concurrent Sessions. The Conference's 5 themes are: Empower (the learners), Embrace (the classroom), Expand (the experience), Engage (with external participation) and Equity (within all spaces).



  • 21st Century Higher Education Faces a Variety of Challenge by Aidan Rowe, U of Alberta

  • Curricular Hegemony and Design Education by Brian DeLevie, U of Colorado Denver

Date: Friday, April 23th at 1:00 PM ET


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You can check all Design Educators Conference Webinars dates here.


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Theme: Engage – with external participation

Curricular Hegemony and Design Education


Presented by Brian DeLevie, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Denver


Historically, IHE’s and design programs have fulfilled and served complementary and contradictory roles. By striving to create missions and curriculums that embrace multicultural paradigms that promote inclusivity,, empathy, IHE’s have produced knowledgeable professionals that serve the economy and as social agents and activists. However, through restrictive entrance requirements and delivering hegemonic pedagogy and curriculum, IHEs and design programs have perpetuated “symbolic racism” that denies existing patterns of racial inequalities and sent implicit messages to minorities about what constitutes valid knowledge, and who are the dominant and subordinate classes. Brian asks: what role does personal, discipline, and institutional biases play in design curriculum decision making?; what can design programs do to actively and effectively challenge hegemonic structures to engage better and promote more equitable and diverse forms of education? and how can design programs create curriculum that recognizes, respects, and uses students’ identities and diverse backgrounds to encourage and support their pursuance and entrance into the design profession?



  • How does design education engage with society, with our student’s lives, with the industry at large?
  • How can we make small changes in curriculum to shed light on student identities and encourage pursuit of their autonomy through their learning experience?
  • How much of design curriculum should be personal, discipline-based or institutional?