Design

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Design.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

LICA240: Design Interactions

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 US Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits
  • Pre-requisites: Students should have some background in Design

Course Description

This module provides a theoretical foundation for design interactions. In particular this module introduces a general framework for designing interactions between people, products and places. It explores design interaction by posing three questions: How do you do? How do you feel? How do you know? The module provides students with a broad historical and theoretical understanding of design interactions.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • Develop students' ability to evaluate and select appropriate design tools and processes for the purposes of designing interactions.
  • Introduce and develop knowledge and understanding in the theory and practice of design interactions.
  • Develop students' awareness of the principles and processes for designing and evaluating interactions.

Outline Syllabus

The syllabus adopts a broad approach to design interactions and aims to develop students understanding of the historical and contemporary concepts underpinning the discipline. These include interaction design principles and methodologies, interaction design guidelines, interaction design and interactivity issues, evaluation techniques, along with a historical context for interaction as a design discipline.

The syllabus frames interaction design through key three questions: How do you do? How do you feel? How do you know?

  • How do you do? What type of interaction is performed? e.g. continuous (steering wheel) or discrete (switch), real or virtual.
  • How do you feel? What human senses are engaged? e.g. McLuhan considering senses through medium (hot and cold).
  • How do you know? Knowledge and understanding of possible interactions. i.e. Maps and Paths (Lynch), Affordances: e.g. Gibson, Norman, Gaver.

In addition the syllabus will explore interaction design techniques e.g. Verplanks idea-error, metaphor-scenario, model-task, display-control and visual communication, visual hierarchies, and information design.

Assessment Proportions

  • Essay: 75%
  • Presentation: 25%

LICA241b: Design Thinking

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 US semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Students should have some background in Design

Course Description

This module introduces students to Design Thinking as a creative human-centred approach to innovation. It facilitates and develops analytical and creative design thinking via the exploration of creative modes of thinking and the introduction of a range of research and creativity approaches.

The nature of design thinking and creativity will be examined in order to develop an understanding of its applicability to the field of design and the development of the artefacts of design. The establishment of a useful basis for understanding design thinking will emerge through the application of design thinking through examples and exercises and areas of interest of participants.

Students will gain an understanding, through both theoretical concepts and practical exercises. This will enable students to compare design thinking with the theory and practice of their own main subject areas and to explore the relationship and potential complementarities and synergies.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of design thinking and its applications
  • Communicate an awareness of the different levels of intervention in the application of design thinking and creativity
  • Describe a range of design methods, tools and skills
  • Apply design thinking via practical exercises

Outline Syllabus

This module will explore the ways in which designers think about and approach design projects through:

  • theoretical concepts
  • via literature review
  • design practice
  • via small exploratory design exercises

This module is dedicated to exploring and experimenting with a wide range of design research methods. Lectures on design research methods are accompanied by a parallel series of small design exercises to enhance the learning by doing.

Assessment Proportions

  • Practical:  20%
  • Written Assessment:  50%
  • Seminar Input:  30%

LICA242: Design Management

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer terms only
  • US Credits: 4 US semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Students should have some background in Design

Course Description

Design management is the implementation of design as a formal programme of activity within an organisation by communicating the relevance of design to long term goals and coordinating design resources at all levels of activity to achieve the objectives of the organisation. It can perform at operational, functional and strategic levels and acts in the interface of management and design and functions as a link between the platforms of technology, design, design thinking, management and marketing. This module will introduce past, present, and emerging practices, methods and principles of design management. It establishes design management as a managerial tool for future marketing and/or design professionals.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • Provide students with an overview of the knowledge and expertise design management brings to organisations
  • Prepare students to work successfully with designers on strategic design issues
  • Develop an appreciation of the contribution of design management for strategy, product development, customer relationships and internal problem-solving.
  • Develop a broad understanding of the importance of design management in commercial, not for profit and public sector contexts

Outline Syllabus

This module provides the historical and practical context for design management and details the role of the design manager. It explores the meaning of designing versus managing and the many ways design managers can contribute to organisations. Students will familiarise themselves with the demands of managing projects, developing design strategies as they link to issues of branding, marketing, and innovation.  Indicative syllabus outline:

  • Design Management and its Origins
  • Key Concepts and Terms in Design Management
  • Emerging Practices and Approaches: Managing as Designing
  • Managing Change: Product Development as a Vehicle for Organizational Change
  • Managing a Design Project
  • Design Strategies for Management
  • Design Leadership through Visualization, Communication and Facilitation

Assessment Proportions

  • Essay:  80%
  • Presentation:  20%

LICA243: Design Interactions Studio: Materials

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 US Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Students should have some background in Design

Course Description

This module explores how an understanding of materials and technology informs and influences the development of design artefacts. It considers how construction methods and associated technologies constrain and support the development artefacts, both physical and digital in nature.

This themed design studio module is taught though a series of design exercises in which students will develop and apply practical design skills in design interactions.

It aims to supplement theoretical courses in design interactions and design thinking by considering how a specific design problem may be explored through a particular lens and/or given constraints. The module develops practical making skills with a range of different materials through experimentation and the development of design responses to particular problems. This practical exploration is informed by a theoretical understanding of how design interactions are constrained and supported by particular materials and technologies.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to a range of materials and production techniques and their relationship to design interactions
  • Develop students' originality in the application of range of practical design skills and methods in a research context
  • Develop students' design skills and deploy them through problem discovery and problem solving; experimentation, iteration and risk-taking; and prototyping and design communication

Outline Syllabus

The module introduces:

  • The properties of materials Material/technology selection
  • Traditional and emerging construction methods
  • Physical fabrication: laser cutting, 3D printing
  • Digital fabrication: visual programming, web technologies

These topics will be explored through a series of practical exercises that will enable the student to undertake several design projects that explore an aspect of different materials in detail.

Assessment Proportions

  • Portfolio:  25%
  • Project:  75%

LICA244: Design Interactions Studio: People

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer terms only
  • US Credits: 4 US semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Students should have some background in Design

Course Description

This module focuses on people as both the recipients and potential creators of design interactions. It applies methods and tools to gain insight, meaning and understanding of the diversity of user groups (the individual, community, young, old, etc.) that may be both designed for and with.

This themed design studio module is taught though a series of design exercises in which students will develop and apply practical design skills in design interactions.

It aims to supplement theoretical courses in design interactions and design thinking by considering how a specific design problem may be explored through a particular lens and/or given constraints. The module develops practical skills in design interactions and enables students to explore user experience and artefact meaning through the development of design responses. This practical exploration is informed by a theoretical understanding of the role that people play in design interactions.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • Explore the role of people as the recipients and potential creators of design interactions
  • Develop students' knowledge of a range of methods that assist in understanding and interrogating diverse user groups and how this understanding can feed into design processes
  • Extend students' skills in the problem discovery and problem solving; and experimentation, iteration and risk-taking

Outline Syllabus

Indicative syllabus includes:

  • User experience design: the process of enhancing customer satisfaction by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the users and artefacts.
  • Emotive design: use of design sues, often operating at a subtle and subconscious level, to reinforce and enhance the way people interact with their surroundings.
  • Co-design: a product, service, or organisation development process where design professionals empower, encourage, and guide users to develop solutions for themselves blurring of the role between user and designer.
  • Open design: the development of physical products, machines and systems through use of publicly shared design information.
  • Personas: fictional characters created to represent the goals, desires and behaviour of a hypothesized group of users.
  • Interactions modes: human-to-human, human-to-artefact, artefact-to-human, human-to-human-via artefact, human-to-service, human-to-system.

Assessment Proportions

  • Portfolio:  25%
  • Project:  75%