Saskia van Kampen

WAC Fellow, Faculty of Design

Photograph of Saskia van Kampen

I am an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and have been teaching since 2006. My focus is on first and second year design, typography, colour, research and drawing. Writing is an integral part of my creative process. Writing helps me brainstorm ideas and is a means for me to organize my thoughts. It is a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice in both my design practice as well as my scholarship. My research into intuitive responses and tacit knowledge in the design discipline has shown me how writing can help bring subconscious reactions to creativity to a liminal and even conscious level. My involvement with the WAC Steering Committee has given me the opportunity to see, first-hand, the significant shift in student learning by integrating writing into the studio classroom. The results demonstrate improved understanding of the vocabulary of design in both native English speakers and English Language Learners. Furthermore, adopting self-reflective writing exercises in my studio courses gives students tools to help articulate their intent, give words to their practice, and build confidence in using a design lexicon.