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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: Multi-Sensory Cultures (Level 11) (DESI11092)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is about the importance of multi-sensory experience. Rather than a purely visual engagement with the world the course explores the way in which a truly multi-sensory involvement offers an opportunity for a richer understanding of the 'things' that surround us. To examine this the course pays particular attention to a range of cultural applications from fields including art, architecture, design, sound studies, and the wider built environment.
Course description This course deals with experience. What is it to experience the material world? Its primary aim is to consider how our experiences are conditioned through multiple senses. Whilst the visual realm is, for many, still the fundamental way in which we experience the world this cannot be separated from the intermingling of all senses. In taking this position the course sets out to examine the complex relationships between the different senses and how these affect our engagement with the world around us. With a particular focus on material cultures the course employs a range of cultural contexts from art, architecture, design, sound, and the built environment. It will explore these contexts through a variety of thematic approaches including (but not limited to): embodiment; hegemony of the visual; sounding objects; the olfactory imagination; touch and texture; immersive atmospheres; affect; mediated experience; rhythmanalysis; creating the multi-sensory.

Whilst many of the key themes and ideas of the course will be disseminated through lectures, the course also provides ample opportunity for you to discuss these through active engagement in seminars. It also includes practical workshops where you will explore multi-sensory experiences through a variety of forms of creative engagement.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative:
There is one formative assessment which will be submitted in week 5 and takes the form of a c.750-word submission examining the broader contexts of the course. It will be graded against all four learning outcomes. Note that formative grades do not count towards the final course mark.

This course has 4 x Learning Outcomes of equal weighting.
In week 11 you will be required to submit a 3500-word written assignment, including a bibliography, which explores a self-directed topic related to the course themes. This will count for 100% of the final mark.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback and grades on their formative and summative submissions via the course Learn site. In each case this will be within 15 working days of submission. Note that summative grades remain indicative until approved by the relevant exam board. Written feedback will provide guidance on areas of strength and improvement in relation to the Learning Outcomes.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Fully identify and critically interrogate the a wide range of discourses and debates on multi-sensory experience
  2. Apply a range of high-level theoretical ideas to apposite case studies
  3. Engage in a variety of innovative research approaches and methods appropriate to the multi-sensory
  4. Communicate their arguments in a creative and imaginative manner through appropriate forms of dissemination
Reading List
Bachelard, G. (1992). The Poetics of Space. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press
Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.). (2003). The Auditory Culture Reader. Oxford: Berg
Classen, C. (Eds.). (2005). The Book of Touch. Oxford: Berg
Gregg, M. & Seigworth, G.J. (Eds.). (2010). The Affect Theory Reader. Durham. Duke University Press
Howes, D. (Ed.). (2004). Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader. Oxford: Berg
Jay, M. (1994). Downcast Eyes: The Denigration Vision in Twentieth Century French Thought. Berkeley: University of California Press
Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Chichester: John Wiley
Serres, M. (2008). The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies. London: Continuum
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills To exercise autonomy and initiative in the development of projects.
To be able to be able to identify and apply processes and strategies for learning
To be able to search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
To be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
To make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
KeywordsMulti-sensory experience,visual culture,sound cultures,affect,design cultures,cultural studies
Course organiserDr Agnese Sile
Tel: (0131 6)51 5800
Course secretaryMiss Emili Astrom
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