Project Oriented Learning
It seems that project oriented learning (and teaching) is far more effective than many other approaches to learning.
It gives you a (close to) real life project to work on, where you must integrate (and learn) a wide variety of skills and pieces of information and knowledge. It shows how these aspects all come together in real life, why it is important to know them and how to apply them, and it gives a concrete and interesting result.
This approach is useful not only for design, but any topic (math, geography, language etc).