Students’ Spatial and Visual Literacies

Examining Chinese Universities’ First-Year Design Courses



Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Spatial literacy, visual representation, curriculum learning objectives, drawing skills, creativity


This research examines whether different disciplinary backgrounds influence the development of design students’ visual literacy. A compulsory first-year course in Chinese design degree programmes was selected for this research, as such a course is designed to develop students’ spatial literacy and visual expression during the discovery design process phase and to facilitate the development of students’ cognitive skills in defining and solving problems. An analysis of 16 students’ assignments from eight universities indicates that students’ disciplinary backgrounds play an important role in the development of their cognition performance related to visual literacy. The results indicate that the disciplinary subject background (i.e. arts or engineering) is an important factor affecting the development of students’ design literacy, specifically their spatial visual cognitive and problem-solving skills.


Yun Fan, Shandong University of Art and Design

Research Assistant

Xiang Xia, Nanjing University of the Arts

Vice Professor



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Hvordan referere

Fan, Y., & Xia, X. (2023). Students’ Spatial and Visual Literacies : Examining Chinese Universities’ First-Year Design Courses. FormAkademisk, 16(5).

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