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WEC Unit: Design, Housing, and Apparel (DHA)


The Design, Housing, and Apparel (DHA) department—one of three departments in the College of Design—comprises the Apparel Design, Graphic Design, Housing Studies, Interior Design, and Retail Merchandising programs. Collectively, the department enrolls approximately 700 undergraduate majors. Working in both studio-based and traditional course genres, DHA’s 20–25 faculty members expand traditional notions of writing by emphasizing visual image presentation and by maintaining an active outreach program which involves direct communication with Minnesota citizens. DHA joined the WEC program in 2007, and the Campus Writing Board approved the DHA third-edition Writing Plan in August 2013.

Activity Highlights:

Early editions of the DHA Writing Plan emphasized in-depth curricular mapping, artifact collection, and faculty interviews in each program. More recently, as part of its effort to address the writing concerns of its linguistically diverse student population, the department hosted a faculty workshop focused on supporting multilingual writers. The session was jointly facilitated by a WEC team member and two language acquisition experts. Other implementation activities have included customized faculty development workshops on writing assignment design, and on teaching with writing in online/virtual environments.

In 2015-2016, faculty reviewed assessment data from student writing assessment of Apparel Design, Graphic Design, and Retail Merchandising. Each team reviewed progress toward student writing goals, and individual instructors continue to modify their assignments and assessments to align and address expectations regarding student writing.  Finally, two WEC Research Assistants developed customized and program-specific "teaching with writing in five-minute increments" workshops for use in undergraduate courses. In 2016-2017, DHA will sponsor two panel discussions with local Apparel Design and Graphic Design professionals to enhance students’ understanding of writing in professional contexts.

Additional activity included the publication of Tasoulla Hadjiyani and Stephanie Zollinger’s “Writing in Design Thinking: Deconstructing the question of Being” in the International Journal of Architecture Research, 2013.

Writing Plan

Center for Writing  10 Nicholson Hall&nb=sp;   216 Pillsbury Dr. SE    Minneapolis, MN 55455    Phone: 612-625-0791   Fax: 612-626-7580