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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Product Design: Connected Things (DESI10057)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to the design of products alongside the streaming of live qualitative and quantitative data from social and technical settings.
Course description Through a series of lectures, design studies and workshops, students will be introduced to the importance of new design methods in the use of live data from social and technical settings. The courses provides an understanding of how designers are increasingly required to take into account the real-time flows of data through systems, especially around the Internet of Things and the need to make this data manifest, in order to reduce its obfuscation and improve trust. Through an introduction to hardware and software platforms that are able to gather data both off-line and on-line, students will be supported in the designing of technology probes that stream data from social settings. Technology probes are a means of gathering qualitative and quantitative data that combine the social science goal of collecting information about the use and the users of the technology in a real- world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing the technology, and the design goal of inspiring users and designers to think of new kinds of technology to support their needs. A combination of a series of lectures that reflect upon design research, and workshops that provide technical and creative support for students to develop their own technology probes for deployment in settings informed through their own interests. The course will also reinforce the ethical issues involved in working with people.

This course will:

1. Introduce students to the use of electronics in creating connected products.
2. Develop student skills in the use of software and hardware for capturing, streaming and reacting to data.
3. Develop students¿ use of design methods, such as technology probes, to gather qualitative and quantitative data from social settings.
4. Develop student skills in the analysis of data from the capture methods toward the iteration and evaluation of connected products.
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 A base cost of approximately £20 is required for standard electronic components. Additional research and material costs according to student designs.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesOnly available to visiting students in the Design School
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  22
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 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 18, 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 develop skills in the use of software and hardware technologies to elicit data from specific social settings in real-time.

The semester long combination of review, reflect and make will result in two distinct outputs:

1. The development of a technology probe that captures, streams and reacts to data. 40%
2. The design, development and evaluation of an interactive connected device for a specific social setting. 60%

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:
Learning outcomes will be assessed through presentations at midway point and a final presentation / submission in week 12. Students will be expected to give an overview of the research and studio practice that led to these outputs.

Learning Outcomes will receive the same assessment weighting (33.33%), with 40% of each LO being determined by the first assignment, and 60% by the second assignment.
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided during weekly tutorials, and mid way assessment of the 1st output.

Summative feedback will be provided following the presentation of the 2nd output in the form of verbal commentary immediately following the presentation, and written feedback following assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate skills in the development of connected devices that capture and/or respond to quantitative data in real-time
  2. Relate social settings to current design theories and practices in order to critically identify a design context for connected devices that interact with users
  3. Test and evaluate connected devices through deployments and analysis and a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods
Reading List
Hilary Hutchinson, Wendy Mackay, et. al. 2003. Technology probes: inspiring design for and with families. CHI '03. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17-24. DOI=
Wallace, J., et al. 2013. A design-led enquiring into personhood in dementia. Proc. CHI ¿13, ACM, 2617-2626.
Fitton et al (2004) Probing technology with technology probes, In Equator Workshop on Record and Replay Technologies.
Dawes B Analog In, Digital Out, (New Riders, 2006, ISBN: 978-0321429162)
Maeda J Creative Code: Aesthetics and Computation, (Thames & Hudson, 2004, ISBN: 978-0500285176)
Platt C Make: Electronics, (Maker Media Inc, 2009, ISBN: 978-0596153748)
Reas, C. & Fry, B. (2010) Getting Started with Processing: A Hands-on Introduction to Making Interactive Graphics, Maker Media. ISBN-13: 978-1449379803
Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (New Riders, 2006, ISBN: 978-0321384010)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry, Technical/practical skills, Communication
KeywordsEmpirical data,Internet of Things,Ethnography,Technology Probes,Design Methods
Course organiserMr Richard Thompson
Course secretaryMiss Barbara Bianchi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5736
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