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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Revolutionising Design for the Climate Emergency (DESI08154)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis team-taught course invites students to respond collectively to the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency and to challenges highlighted by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a shared international blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet, now and into the future.

The course introduces sustainable design practices, thinking and systems. It considers exemplary eco-conscious and socially-just projects, rethinking contemporary design to cultivate own practice with people and the environment in mind. It is designed to guide students in practices of making and presenting works of design, which are critical, imaginative, hopeful and catalytic in nature.
Course description Revolutionising Design for the Climate Emergency promotes design that builds and maintains relationships of care, respect, and reciprocity with participants, environments and materials. It is a course designed to cultivate students' practices of making and presenting works of design, within times of societal and environmental change, which are critical, imaginative, hopeful and catalytic in nature.

Students have the opportunity to independently select working methods and materials to produce design outcomes in a range of media and forms for the collaborative presentation of their project, though guidance is offered by tutors throughout the course and there may be an emphasis on a few select modes or materials that changes annually. Whatever the mode of practice, or media used, the brief should be read as a call to action.

The course is delivered through weekly talks and workshops by speakers from different areas in design, providing an understanding of both contemporary and historical perspectives on the course's topics. After each talk, there is opportunity for students to engage in discussions that are designed to facilitate and encourage critical analysis of and reflection upon eco-conscious, socially-just, collaborative and interdisciplinary design.

Working in small groups, students will also respond to a project brief. This brief is to develop collaborative, multi-sensory design work that responds to a specific place and environmental and/or social issues (NB. the brief is specified each year). This project work forms a substantial part of the course, and is an opportunity to practice, to act, to collaborate!

Weekly workshops (of one to two hours) and small group tutorials (of two hours) throughout the semester support the student's idea generation, development, production, communication and presentation of this design work. In the final week of the course a full-day workshop will support students with production and presentation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs On this course students are encouraged to reuse, repurpose & recycle as many of the basic art materials and equipment as possible. Where purchase is required, students are encouraged to shop second-hand. Specific materials and equipment will vary depending on student's individual choice of method of production - likely costs ranging from £30 to £50.
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research and critically assess a range of creatives who have explored methods, strategies and solutions to address selected environmental issues.
  2. Resolve and communicate co-designed or individual design outcomes within the context of a defined group project format.
  3. Record and evaluate personal design processes and the effect of their collaborative action in the public realm.
Reading List
Busch, O.von. 2022. Making trouble: Design and Material Activism. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

Fisher, T. 2008. 'Objects for Peaceful Disordering: Indigenous Designs and Practices of Protest'. The Design Journal 11.3: 221- 238.

Rawsthorn, A., and P. Antonelli. 2022. Design Emergency : Building a Better Future. London: Phaidon.

Roberts, L. et al Eds. and the Design Museum, London. 2018. Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics, 2008-18. (Published on the occasion of the exhibition, 'Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics, 2008-18', at The Design Museum in 2018.) UK: Generation Press.

Thorpe, A. 2012. Architecture and Design Versus Consumerism : How Design Activism Confronts Growth. Abingdon: Earthscan.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry
Students will gain an awareness and understanding of critical thinking around environmental design through a series of lectures and workshops delivered by both practitioners and theorists who explore developing design practices.

Outlook and engagement
Students will develop skills in how to convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes through context of a defined public facing, group-led presentation format.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will exercise autonomy and initiative in research and design activities, through the delivery of a self-initiated collective body of work.
Keywordsexperiential (learning),activism,sustainable design
Course organiserMs Emily Ford-Halliday
Tel: (0131 6)51 5813
Course secretaryMiss Linsey McEwan
Tel: (01316) 515448
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