Design in Words: Criticism, Writing and Theory


Course Objective

In 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
academic paper.
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 Content

This is a research seminar. In the seminar, we will address how we can
reflect on design, history and society in view of current design
practices which reflect on biotechnologies and other contemporary
technologies. Taking our case-studies from the most critical and cutting
edge contemporary design: design projects which interact with the
biological sciences and technologies, also called Bio-Design, we will
discuss how these current practices are addressed in a design discourse.
Bio-Design comprises practices from a growing number of international
artists and designers. Bio-Design reflects on the biosciences and
biotechnologies by way of future scenarios and speculative realities
about what might happen to human beings and animals when particular
technologies are becoming part of our daily lives.

How can we relate these ‘futuristic’ types of design to writings on
design history? How has this been done up until now? We will analyze
this by examining literature, by reflecting on presentations and
exhibiting of Bio-Design, on different media related to projects by
designers, and on the role of design in films and websites related to
the topic. We will also connect Bio-Design projects to ethical and
cultural questions and debates in our society.

Teaching Methods

Research seminar with brief lectures, plenary discussions, critical

Method of Assessment

Objective 1 and 2 are assessed by a written academic paper of 5000 words
that counts as 70% of the final grade;

Objective 3 is assessed through class presentations that count as 30% of
the final grade: one or two panel discussion presentations for 20% and
one individual poster pitch for 10%.

General Information

Course Code L_ZAMAACW016
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz
Examiner J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz
Teaching Staff J. Ozorio de Almeida Meroz

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

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