Course ObjectiveIn this seminar we will:
1) Analyse contemporary forms of design in a critical way and relate
them to contemporary design cultures and to design history in a written
academic paper, level 400, 5000 words. The assessment is a written
2) Reflect on design from engaged perspectives by considering and using
ethical and moral frameworks, and the value of design practices and
design history for such frameworks. The assessment is as under 1).
3) Communicate critical insights from texts of a theoretical and
philosophical nature in panel discussions in relation to the role of
design in our society, and in an individual poster presentation in
relation to the topic of your paper. The assessment is one or two panel
presentations for 20% (the number of presentations depends on the number
of participants to the seminar), and an individual poster pitch for 10%.
Course ContentDesign in Words develops students’ critical thinking abilities, imparts
knowledge of key strands of design criticism, and equips students with
the skills for writing reviews. This course complements the previous
ones by focusing on critical writing that is historically,
methodologically and theoretically informed. It assesses the development
of students’ critical thinking and knowledge of key strands of design
criticism through weekly in-class discussions and through the writing of
three design reviews. The design reviews progressively grow in length
and complexity, and are each extensively discussed in class before
students rework their drafts into final drafts.
This course aims at developing both writing skills and an informed
critical stance on the field of design, providing students with the
historical, theoretical and methodological backgrounds and with the
practical tools needed to evaluate the designed world. Together we will
explore the history, practice and the main traditions of evaluating
design. The discussion of key historical and contemporary critical texts
are organized in terms of main strands of design criticism. Their
discussion will be combined with practicing writing design critiques.
Ideally, a design critique provides a clear and revealing interpretative
perspective on a particular artefact by taking into account its
contexts, history, production, mediation and consumption. Reviews may
possibly be published by academic/professional design platforms.
Teaching MethodsLectures, seminars, excursion and guided study.
Method of AssessmentThree design reviews (one of 750 words, one of 1000 words, and one of
1500 words), each of which composes 1/3 of the final grade, and one oral
presentation of about 45 minutes (compulsory but not graded).
Matching of course objectives and assessment:
- Objective 1: Oral presentation
- Objective 2: Written papers 1, 2, and 3
- Objective 3: Written paper 1
- Objective 4: Oral presentation
- Objective 5: Written paper 3
- Objective 6: Written paper 3
Entry RequirementsAn academic bachelor, or a minor, in Arts, Literature, Culture, Design
or Media Studies.
LiteratureDigital reader provided by your tutor.
Target AudienceMaster students in Design Cultures, Architecture and/or exchange
students with backgrounds in Arts, Literature, Culture, Design or Media
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Humanities|
|Course Coordinator||J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz|
|Examiner||J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz|
J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz
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Last-minute registration is available for this course.
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