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Which possibilities are there for cultivating critical, creative, artistic and ethical thinking in collaboration with a major corporation in a student project? The project explored in this article involved first-year students enrolled in a BA product design course at the Oslo Metropolitan University. The research approach combined methods such as practice-led research with students, photo-elicitation interviews, autoethnographic writing and reflections. The article attends to potentials and failures in critical, creative and artistic practices that aim to challenge problematic modes of production in society today. The project initially set out to explore critical modes of creativity and making practices that are different from commercial design. However, the same project was embraced by Ikea, who both sponsored it and exhibited the final results. This embrace may have the effect of zeroing out, countering or incorporating attempts to be critical towards commercial design.

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This page is a summary of: The stool that became a tree: Reflecting on a collaborative student project in design education, International Journal of Education through Art, September 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/eta_00107_1.
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