Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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

Undergraduate Course: Product Design 2B: Designing Social Narratives (DESI08080)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a starting point for critical reflection, by inviting students to reflect on socially-created narratives, how they influence and can be challenged by design using cultural theory to inform design investigations, students will develop projects that uncover and disrupt the dominant narratives that underpin design.
Course description In this course, students will investigate critical issues that lie behind social practices and norms that are often taken for granted. They will reflect on how design may contribute to support or challenge socially-constructed narratives, and will be introduced to design expressions and movements that look beyond the strictly commercial, including Speculative Design, Critical Design, Design Fictions, Design for Debate, etc. Students are expected to develop their own perspective towards a critical issue, and to design an artefact, intervention or installation that embodies or represents this perspective.

This course will:
1. Encourage students to develop a critical eye towards social conventions and practices that are often taken for granted,
2. Develop student skills in considering the impact of artefacts and systems within broader cultural social, economical, technological and natural contexts,
3. Develop student skills to approach abstract and complex issues through design
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements If this course is Core to your programme, you will automatically be enrolled. For all other students, including Design students, the course is open on a first come, first served basis until the course is full. This course may have limited availability for non-Design students. Please contact the Course Organiser if you wish to enrol.
Additional Costs Material costs.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5.5, Formative Assessment Hours 0.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 160 )
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 the combination of lectures, seminars, and reflective discussions.

At the end of the course, students are expected to present two summative outputs which will be assessed through the three Learning Outcomes:

1. A 1500-word document that summarises the critical issue, main insights from the research, design decisions and personal perspective developed during the course. 50%

2. Concept designs for an artefact, installation or design intervention that incorporates the critical perspective above, and demonstrates an understanding of the theoretical aspects of the course through the control of form, materials, and functions. This should be submitted through an illustrated digital documentation that includes a description of the issue addressed by the project, images of the envisioned final results and this result in context. 50%

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

The first component of assessment is marked against Learning Outcomes 1 and 2.

The second component of assessment is marked against Learning Outcome 3.

LO1 - 25%
LO2 - 25%
LO3 - 50%
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided in person through tutorial meetings that corresponds to the Learning Outcomes.

Formative assessment will be provided at the mid-semester point, and will include:

a. A presentation of all work to date including:
- research on how one particular subject is approached in various media, and by different groups
- initial prototypes that demonstrate exploration of materials and iteration through ideas and a personal perspective towards a chosen subject and design more broadly

b. Online submission of supporting documents

Oral feedback will be provided following the presentations. Written feedback will be given with indicative grades

Summative feedback will be provided following the portfolio submission in the form of written feedback following assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate ability to critically analyse research material, recognising ways of reinforcing or challenging cultural, social and economical values.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the role of design in reinforcing, responding or challenging socially created values, while developing a personal perspective in design.
  3. Translate critical issues into concept designs for an artefact, installation or intervention that demonstrates understanding of the theoretical aspects of the course and sensibility in the application of materials, development of form and mediation of interactions.
Reading List
Adam, B. (1995) Timewatch: the Social Analysis of Time. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press.
Bastian, M. (2012) Fatally Confused: Telling the Time in the Midst of Ecological Crises' Journal of Environmental Philosophy, vol 9, no. 1, pp. 23-48.
Bourdieu, P. (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge University Press, UK. Kelly, K. (2011) Clock in the Mountain.
Clarke A. J. (2010) Design Anthropology: Object Culture in the 21st Century. Springer
Dunne, A. & Raby, F. (2014) Speculative Everything. MIT Press.
Gunn, W. et al. (2013) Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice. Bloomsbury
Anything from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:
Pschetz, L. (2015) Isn't it to change the way we think about time? Interactions 22(5).
Rifkin, J. (2011) The third industrial revolution: how lateral power is transforming energy, the economy, and the world. New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
Sharma, S. (2014). In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics. Duke University Press.
Harvey, D. (1990a) The Condition of Postmodernity. Cambridge: Blackwell. Yelavich, S. & Adam, B. (2014) 'Design as Future-Making'. Bloomsbury.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Enquiry : Understand and apply design principles
Personal Effectiveness : Ability to analyse and critique own work and work of others.
Communication : Convey complex information to a range of audiences and situations.
KeywordsDesign Narratives,Critical Design,Temporal Design
Course organiserMiss Isla Munro
Course secretaryMiss Barbara Bianchi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5736
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