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

Postgraduate Course: dLab(1): Design for Social Change (DESI11103)

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 DesignLab (dLab) interrogates the complex challenges and issues contemporary societies face that are social in nature. Drawing directly from issue-based themes from the RCUK Global Challenges Areas and the UN's Global Goals, each year a particular area is identified for participatory examination through design-led interventions, leading to propositions and prototyping of alternative futures which aim to make communities and societies fair, more inclusive and open to progressive futures which contribute to making the world a better place for everyone.
Course description An aging population; the disappearance of the middle classes; lack of stable work resulting in 'gig economies'. These are just a few of the social challenges faced by communities in the Western World. Combine this with whole populations displaced by conflict and violence, those facing extreme poverty and hunger and global economic stagnation and you'll start to understand that the world¿s communities face significant social challenges as we move to our future.

dLab(1): Design for Social Change examines these complex spaces and places and sees how design-led practice can bring about creative and strategic change in order to increase the quality of life across a variety of circumstances, including contributions to health, wealth, and social innovation. In dLab(1): Design for Social Change we place human-centred practices at the heart of understanding the relationships forged between peoples and communities. We work with others and examine how new relationships and networks can be formed and mobilised, are able to empower those less fortunate, those struggling with inclusion and marginalisation in order to discover, make and adopt new futures in collaboration with change-makers, through design.

Each year, one dLab theme is identified in partnership with relevant stakeholders, drawn from the Global Challenges debates - the UN Global Goals and the RCUK Global Challenge areas provide insights into the selected themes. Through design-driven coursework dealing with issue-based contexts, you'll learn to analyse the circumstances, synthesize findings in a designerly way, and evaluate, with others, successful pathways leading to preferential change within the identified theme. Communication and reflection are key components of design practice we foster throughout coursework over the semester.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs The nature of studio courses is such that there is reasonable expectation of materials being consumed and deployed in the development of prototypes, models, and visualisations (including printing). For this course, a reasonable expectation is that students may spend an average of £50, but these costs vary significantly across individual projects and with students' choices of materials involved with project execution.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative component 1 - 1500-word essay [individually assessed and graded against LO1/LO2/LO3 (equally weighted)] (20% of total mark)

Summative component 2 - Design-led portfolio [group assessment graded against LO1/LO2/LO3 (equally weighted)] (60% of total mark)

Summative component 3 - 1500-word critical reflection on component 2 [individually assessed against LO1/LO3/LO4 (equally weighted)] (20% of total mark)
Feedback At the course midpoint a formative feedback event is held where each student delivers a visual presentation to their fellow students and teaching/research staff, summarising the key ideas from Component 1 and how this will form the basis for component 2. Verbal formative feedback will be provided by the course organiser and invited respondents.

Further formative feedback is regularly provided through the course. This takes a variety of forms, including verbally through group and individual meetings where work and ideas are discussed with both peers and tutor.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate high-level skills in the examination and distillation of critical information from a variety of research sources relevant to social engagement and participatory design methods
  2. Evidence significant ability in framing and analysing complex social issues leading to the potential generation of novel design-led propositions in a social design context
  3. Display professional standards of communicating ideas for social change through appropriate design platforms including a range of texts, images and objects, either alone or in combination
  4. Articulate an appropriate degree of reflection regarding your design-led project in the context of ethical, moral and inclusive considerations involving engaged research and design change
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
Be able to identify processes and strategies for learning
Be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
Search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
Be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts
Be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
Keywordsdesign,issue-based design,strategic change,critical futures,social innovation,global challenges
Course organiserDr Craig Martin
Course secretaryMiss Emili Astrom
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