Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Evaluate the criteria of critical thinking in your own design practice;produce text describing and framing your own design approach;consider the careful balance between practice and theory in your work;identify connections between communication design and theoretical frameworks beyond design theory;relate aspects of your design practice in a wider intellectual discourse

Credits: 6

Schedule: 08.09.2023 - 29.11.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Arja Karhumaa

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This seminar course acts as a core of your first year studies: it introduces you to the learning community at VCD as a space to define your own design practice. The course introduces an alphabet of critical concepts such as Archive, Authorship, Decoloniality, Discourse, Intersectionality, Materiality, Modernity, Practice, Reconstruction, and Work as necessary tools of diffracting design. By way of lectures, presentations, readings, and discussion, criticality is introduced as means to recognize normative ways of being in the world, and to imagine alternative ones. With focus in peer learning, classes aim to delineate past, present, emerging, and potential modes of sustainable practice within communication design.

    You learn to develop your understanding of your own practice by writing, documenting, annotating, and/or archiving your work. The concept of a “Designer’s Archive” leads towards a collection which will ultimately perform the roles of a diary, a sandbox, a laboratory, a storage, a library, a publication, a portfolio, and an archive.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Evaluation criteria: participation in teaching, completed assignments.

    Minimum 80% attendance.

    See MyCourses for more detailed information on evaluations methods and criteria.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    6 ECTS ≈ 162h

    Contact teaching 36h/Other 126h

    Lectures 12h
    Groupwork 20h
    Independent reading and writing 50h
    Reflection and thinking 80h


Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I - II
    2023-2024 Autumn I - II

    Enrollment :

    VCD students only (major and exchange)

    Minimum amount of participants: 8
    Maximum amount of participants varies according to the implementation of the course.

    Registration for Courses: Sisu.

    Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture: