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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Objects of Desire (DESI08009)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryObjects surround us; they inflect upon everything we do; they literally determine the world we live in. However, so often they remain taken for granted. In this course we will investigate the capacity that objects have to tell us about the societies in which they were created and used. Based on a combination of historical research, cultural theory and contemporary uses and potential of design, this course will focus on the context of production, materiality and making. It will provide a close study of the representation and consumption of objects and the ways that taste and value contribute to our understanding of the world. All lectures will be delivered by historians, theorists and practitioners from the School of Design. Aims of the course are:

To introduce students to the conceptual and historical aspects of craft and design in Britain.

To encourage students to think broadly about the implications of making, value and taste on the production of objects.

To allow students to undertake a personal project related to the social biography of an object.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the social relations that objects create
  2. Critically analyse a range of textual and non-textual discourses concerning the production, dissemination and consumption of objects
  3. Demonstrate the ability to write, talk and visualise narratives about objects and the web of social relations that surrounds them
Reading List
Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press
Candlin, F & Guins, R. (Eds.) (2009). The Object Reader. London: Routledge
Forty, A. (1986). Objects of Desire: Design and Society since 1750. London: Thames and Hudson
Highmore, B. (Ed.) (2008). The Design Culture Reader. London: Routledge
Julier, G, (2013) The Culture of Design, Sage
Miller, D. (2009). Stuff. London: Polity Press
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements After you have discussed taking one of our courses with your Personal Tutor/ School Student Support Office, please contact us to enquire if a place is available at:
Additional Class Delivery Information Semester 1: Thursday, Weeks 1-10 Lecture 9.00-10.00am in Room JO5 at ECA, Lauriston Campus.

Semester 1: Thursday, Weeks 2-10 Seminar 11.00-12.00 in Room JO5 at ECA, Lauriston Campus.
Course organiserDr Juliette Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 5723
Course secretaryMs Jane Thomson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713
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