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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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.

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 This course is open to ALL STUDENTS and enrolments are managed on a first come first served basis until the course is full. The course will be open to enrolments from Monday 28th September at 10.00 am. Please sign up for the course through your own School (they will advise if this is done via your PT, SSO or Teaching Office). We do not currently keep a waiting list.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  48
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, External Visit Hours 6, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 158 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This formative feedback point will give you specific formal feedback on the proposed subject matter of your end-of-course summative essay.
Formative assessment does not count to your final grade/mark but is used to support your learning. Feedback on formative assessment is designed to help you learn more effectively by giving you feedback on your performance and on how it can be improved and/or maintained.

Biography of an object
The final summative submission asks you to create a fully documented biography of an object: Provide a brief description of the physical appearance and materials of the object, followed by an examination of at least one of the following perspectives: social, cultural, historical, or technical context of the object. As well as thinking about the origins, manufacture, use or meaning of your object, you might also want to discuss the object's biography in its present context, for example as a museum or gallery artefact (how it was acquired, what previous uses or exhibitions are associated with it?) You should also include a section explaining why the object is of interest to you.
Your Biography of an Object should fully referenced and (where appropriate) illustrated 3000-word essay. You will receive written feedback, a final grade on each learning outcome and an overall grade for the course.
Remember that Summative Assessment counts towards your final grade/mark and appears on your academic transcript. It evaluates your learning (again the learning outcomes for the course).

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
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
Adamson, G. (2009). The Craft Reader. London: Bloomsbury
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
MacGrgegor, N, (2012). A History of the World in 100 Objects, Penguin.
Miller, D. (2009). Stuff. London: Polity Press
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Jessamy Kelly
Tel: (0131 6)51 5816
Course secretaryMs Georgia Dodsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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