University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Product Design 1B: Touch and Don't Touch (DESI08082)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the importance of form, semantics and visual language in our understanding of the material world and how this applies to the practice of product design. The course will combine theory with practice to allow students to better understand how the look and feel of a product is transformed through the manipulation of the language form, surface and colour.
Course description Through a combination of lectures, reflective sessions and design workshops, students will be introduced to semiotics and the role of meaning within advertising, brand and product design development. Focus will be placed upon how meanings are conveyed through physical forms in order to communicate brand values and key messages to specific audiences. Case studies of products will explore how products promote associations with aspirational lifestyles, and how designed products using a combination of form, detailing, material and colour, support these messages. Students will respond to the lectures and reflective sessions through a series of sketching and modelling exercises that become more complex as the concepts are further explored through theory, reflection and practice.

This course will:

1. Introduce students to the importance of form, semantics and visual and physical language in product design.
2. Introduce students to the concept of personas as a representative profile for users of designed objects.
3. Develop student skills in iterative sketching and modelling through a variety of materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Specific materials and equipment costs will vary depending on the students' individual method of production.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 6, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students are expected to produce a response informed through an iterative making and researching process that is supported by a combination of talks, reflective discussions and practical workshops.

The semester long combination of review, reflect and make will result in three summative outputs:

1. A project sketchbook/journal explaining the processes undertaken. 33% / minimum 50 pages
2. Presentation boards outlining the research, consumer profile, and design. 33% / minimum 4
3. A single artefact that demonstrates an understanding of the theoretical aspects of the course through the control of form, materials, colour and visual materials. 33%

Further information on both the presentation and portfolio (content, format and dates) are available via Learn /Course handbook).

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes will be assessed through all components of assessment. In each component of assessment you are expected to demonstrate all 3 Learning Outcomes.

All three assessment outputs are equally weighted, constituting 33% of the overall mark.

Each element of coursework will be assessed using the three Learning Outcomes, with the grade for each Learning Outcome representing 33% of the overall mark.

Feedback Formative feedback will be provided verbally through 1:1 tutorial meetings. Written feedback is provided at the mid-semester point following a verbal and digital presentation of work to date.

Summative feedback will be provided following the presentation and portfolio submission in the form of verbal commentary immediately following the presentation, and written feedback following assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding through inquisitive exploration of form and semantics in Product Design.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of user-centred methods within the design process.
  3. Communicate skill in idea development and resolution through an iterative sketching and model making approach.
Reading List
Bramston, D. (2010) Visual Conversations (Basics Product Design series), AVA Publishing.
Norman, Donald A, (2013) The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded, Basic Books; Revised Edition
Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies: Roland Barthes. New York: Hill and Wang.
Baudrillard, J. (1994). Simulacra and simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Baudrillard, J. (2005) The system of objects. London: Verso.
Eagleton, T. (1983) Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P.
Klein, N., Jhally, S., Alper, L., Garner, K., Monhan, T., & Klein, N. (2003). No logo brands, globalization, resistance. [Northampton, Mass.], Media Education Foundation.
Krippendorff, K. (2006) The semantic turn: a new foundation for design, Boca Raton : CRC/Taylor & Francis
Leborg, C. (2004) Visual Grammar, Princeton Architectural Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking.
Be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts.
Be able to use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
Be able to use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-reflection.
KeywordsSemiotics,User-centred Design,Iterative Sketching,Iterative Modelling
Course organiserMiss Isla Munro
Course secretaryMiss Karolina Mazur
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information