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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Design for Ageing (DESI10134)

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
SummaryContemporary representations of people in the later stages of life, from anti-ageing face cream advertisements to road signs depicting bent human bodies, imply that ageing is unwelcome, unpleasant, and a problem to be solved. Some suggest this constitutes a kind of double discrimination: one that acts against older members of society and also our future older selves. This course will unpick and critique the ways in which concepts of ageing shape the designed environment in the UK and in turn consider how critically informed design can re-conceptualise ageing to create more inclusive and emancipatory environments and experiences. Theories of identity and embodiment, the relationship between technology and the body, as well as the spatial dimension of being and belonging will all be explored. This course should appeal to any student interested in the relationship between design and social justice.
Course description People in the later stages of life make up one of the most differentiated and experientially rich groups in society which should make design for an ageing population one of the most stimulating areas for design practice. Yet the World Health Organisation warn that actions to support healthy ageing will be ┬┐impossible unless we change the way we all think, feel and act on age and ageing┬┐. This course will equip students with the skills to critique the normative ideas that underpin the way ageing is framed in contemporary British culture as well as the (often unintended) discriminatory effects of design practices. In doing so students will explore how the designed environment enables or disables people to fulfil their lives in a meaningful and positive way and how design can re-conceptualise ageing and create more inclusive and emancipatory environments and experiences. Theories of identity and embodiment, the relationship between technology and the body, as well as the spatial dimension of being and belonging will all be explored. The course also supports students to think about how they might develop their own ethically informed design research and engage with people and /or groups in the community. Design for Ageing is of particular relevance to design students but would also be appropriate for students interested in community arts or the sociology of health and ageing and anthropology. The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops and supports students to develop their own self-initiated design research project.
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.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  43
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 2, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 175 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There will be one summative assessment at the end of the course. This will take the form of a 3,500-word 'Critical Essay' in response to an identified issue relating to older age. This will be graded against all four Learning Outcomes. Each learning outcome is weighted equally and the summative assessment counts towards 100% of the course mark.

There is one formal formative assessment point which is designed to prepare students for the final summative submission. This will take place midway through the course and will take the form of a visual presentation accompanied by a written supporting statement of 500-words plus bibliography.

The submission will be assessed against learning outcomes 1 and 4.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback and grades on their formative and summative submissions via the course Learn site. This will be within 15 working days of submission. Note that formative grades do not count towards the final course mark and 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.

Verbal formative feedback will be provided on a weekly basis in relation to the ongoing seminar and workshop exercises.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key theories of ageing and the ways in which they relate to design
  2. Apply design research strategies alongside secondary research to develop a critically informed response to an identified issue relating to ageing.
  3. Evidence reflection on ethical approaches to researching with people
  4. Communicate complex ideas and resolutions through well articulated arguments integrated with visual methods
Reading List
Anderzhon, J.W. et al. (2012) Design for aging: international case studies of building and program. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Boys, J. (2014). Doing disability differently: An alternative handbook on architecture, dis/ability and designing for everyday life. London: Routledge
Higgs, P. & Gilleard, C., 2013. Ageing, Corporeality and Embodiment. London: Anthem Press.
Twigg, J. (2013) Fashion and Age. Dress, the Body and Later Life. London: Bloomsbury
Victor, C. (2005) The Social Context of Ageing. A textbook of Gerontology. London: Routlege

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills To exercise autonomy and initiative in the development of projects.
To be able to employ appropriate research strategies to self initiated projects.
To be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
To be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
To be able to flexibly transfer knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
To communicate ideas effectively and in ways that respond to specific briefs and audiences
Course organiserMs Emma Gieben-Gamal
Tel: (0131 6)51 5721
Course secretaryMiss Linsey McEwan
Tel: (01316) 515448
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