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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: Design Thinking (DESI11094)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryAs a postgraduate student in the Business School, this course will introduce you to fundamental approaches to
designing and design thinking, relevant to four orders of designing - visual, material, service and
system (Buchanan, 1992; Golsby-Smith, 1996) and relating this to business models as designable
Course description The first half of the course introduces you to the theoretical backgrounds underlying applied approaches to design thinking in a lecture and seminar format. A history of research regarding design activity is outlined, through two fundamental paradigms of thinking about design-as-method in the 1960s through to the design-as-knowledge application and expertise through the 1980s. (Dorst 2006; Dorst & Dijkhuis 1995). The lectures will then introduce concepts of design-for-experience and interaction design, leading to the fundamental approach to the basic understanding of Design Thinking (Martin, 2009). The lectures conclude with the introduction of designing for complexity, going beyond interactions between users and artefacts, and introducing the 4 orders of design: text/image; objects; services; and systems (Buchanan 1992). We conclude with a review of Chamberlin┐s concept of differentiation and its application as a component of design thinking, going forward. Throughout, special emphasis is placed upon understanding designing as both an iterative and generative activity, focusing on the fundamental practice of prototyping.
The second half of the course outlines an alternative approach to designing and design thinking is outlined through a re-interpretation of Buchanan┐s (1992) 4 orders, and differentiation as outlined by Chamberlin (1933). Team based exercises will engage you to design and develop, through intervention with identified stakeholders, an alternative model to an existing product, service, process or business model, prototype their developments and test their findings, leading to an individual case study as a final submission interrogating the value of design methods and design thinking in an entrepreneurship and innovation context.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students in the Business School.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 125 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Supervised Practicals will be taught in groups.
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) - Individual essay, 40%, 1,500 words - Week 6 - students will be asked to discuss and apply the four different orders of design.
- Individual case study, 60%, up to 3,000 words - Week 12 - based on the team work that students will engage in during the second part of the course, each team member will have to write a case study report detailing and reflecting on the work involved in the design group project.
Feedback Formative feedback is regularly communicated through the course. This takes a number forms, including verbally through group and individual meetings where work and ideas are discussed with both peers and tutor.
Students will submit a relevant selection of work relating to summative Assessment Component 1 for written formative feedback regarding their work during the midpoint of the course; full details for dates and submission requirements for feedback are outlined in the course handbook.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe and critically discuss the range of design thinking approaches and frameworks
  2. Analyse problems from a design thinking perspective
  3. Critically apply the principles of design thinking to address innovation problems
Reading List
Chamberlin, E(1933) Chapter 5: Product Differentiation and the Theory of Value. In The Theory Of Monopolistic Competition: A Re-Orientation Of The Theory Of Value. London : Oxford University Press.
Golsby-Smith, T (1996) Fourth Order Design: A practical perspective. Design Issues, 12(1) pp5-25.
Dorst, CH (2006) Design problems and design paradoxes. Design Issues, 22(3) pp4-17
Dorst, CH and Dijkhuis, J (1995) Comparing paradigms for describing design activity. Design Studies, 16, 261-274
Simon, H (1969) Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Woodhouse, E and Patton, JW (2004) Design by Society: Science and Technology Studies and the Social Shaping of Design. Design Issues, 20(3) pp1-12.
Schon, D (1994) The Reflective Practitioner. Surrey: Ashgate.
Martin, R (2009) The design of business, Harvard Business School Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive and subject specific skills:
-Integrate the design thinking concepts and relate them to real-world innovation problems.
Transferable skills:
-Engage with stakeholders to elicit requirements;
-Design and deliver innovative proposals to wicked problems using iterative and exploratory design-led techniques.
Keywordsdesign thinking,design process,design for business models,systems thinking
Course organiserMr Arno Verhoeven
Tel: (0131 6)51 5808
Course secretaryMr Mathieu Donner
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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