Undergraduate Course: Design in Action (DESI10064)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course outlines the shift in design to pursue more socially engaged forms of practice as a reaction to the criticisms of the social and ecological ethics of design's role in the making of commodities. It will also introduce some of the key design strategies employed in social design practice, which places an emphasis on more collaborative and inclusive ways of working. You will then have an opportunity to put this form of design practice into action, engaging in live projects (based in Edinburgh) employing the principles of participatory and co-design.
Design in Action takes as its starting point the 'social' or 'ethical turn' in Design, which has seen a critique of Design's role in the making of commodities and its social and environmental impact, as well as a shift in focus to more socially and ethically engaged forms of practice. This can in part be set within the context of a resurgence of social and political activism in recent years and has also resulted in designers seeking to enact social transformation through their practices. As well as examining examples of socially engaged design, and its origins, the course will also study the shift to more collaborative and inclusive ways of working that have underpinned these social design practices. The course will introduce a range of design strategies that have arisen as a response to some of the key social issues facing contemporary society as well as focusing in particular on the principles of co-design / participatory design and community engagement. A key aspect of the course is the development of live design projects (based in Edinburgh) in which these methods and strategies can be put into practice.
Each year the project theme changes but might include sustainable development, design for disability, design for communities or design and education. Projects may also involve collaboration with external organisations such as charities, schools and community groups (but will be developed so as to be accessible to all students on the course).
Having been introduced to the themes of the course you will work in groups on the live projects employing and developing the methods outlined. You will be expected to demonstrate an ability to work independently in your groups and to develop and present your research findings and project proposals as part of the course assessment.
Throughout the course you will be encouraged to gain an understanding of the contexts in which socially engaged design is employed as well as the practices and principles of social design. This will be further developed through your application of appropriate design research methods and strategies in the live project.
The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, discussions, workshops and fieldwork with external partners. Each week students will be required to undertake research activities and prepare work, as part of their directed learning hours, for presentation or discussion in seminar and in preparation for the final submission.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 4,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10,
Fieldwork Hours 14,
Formative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Students will be required to submit one formative assessment task in week 6. This will consist of a 500-word project proposal in response to the course theme and live brief plus an indicative bibliography.
There is one summative assessment task:
Students will be required to submit a 3000-word essay, including a bibliography, that responds to the live project brief. This will be submitted in week 11. The submission counts for 100% of the final mark.
Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:
The summative assessment task is designed to align directly with the learning outcomes. The submission will be assessed against all 4 learning outcomes and all the learning outcomes are equally weighted.
||Formative: Students will receive written feedback on their proposal via Learn. This will be within 15 working days of submission.
Summative: Students will receive written feedback on their essay via Learn. This will be within 15 working days of submission. Note that summative grades remain indicative until approved by the relevant exam board.
Written feedback will provide guidance on areas of strength and improvement in relation to the Learning Outcomes.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of key theories and issues in relation to the course theme and as they relate to the live project through a review of relevant scholarly literature.
- Employ appropriate social design research methods to investigate the course theme and live project in an informed and critically minded way.
- Evaluate how effective social design research methods are in generating an in-depth understanding of the social and cultural context of the live project and design proposals that arise out of it.
- Communicate your analysis in a professional, structured and coherent way for a specified audience.
|Ehn, P., Nilsson, E. M. and Topgaard, R. (2014) Making Futures: Marginal Notes on Innovation, Design, and Democracy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.|
Fuad-Luke, A. (2009). Design activism: Beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world. London: Earthscan.
Manzini, E. and Coad, R. (2015) Design, When Everybody Designs: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
McIntyre, A. (2008) Participatory action research. Los Angeles; London: SAGE.
Papanek, V. (1985) Designing for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. Thames & Hudson.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||To exercise autonomy and initiative in the development of projects;
To be able to employ appropriate research strategies to self initiated projects;
To be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues;
To be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them;
To be able to flexibly transfer knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another;
To communicate ideas effectively and in ways that respond to specific briefs and audiences.
|Course organiser||Ms Rachel Harkness
Tel: (0131 6)51 5753
|Course secretary||Ms Jane Thomson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713