Welcome to Critical Design
From 25th January to 15th April, 2016
Otaniemi Campus, Miestentie 3, room 117
Anni Puolakka, email@example.com, 050 527 3123
Arja Karhumaa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 040 570 7777
The course introduces you to contemporary critical design discourses, positions and practices. The emphasis is on European debate on design and its role in the society. You will explore critical design as an attitude and a tool for forming and expressing stances on 1) your own design practice 2) the (graphic) design field and 3) the prevailing sociocultural and political circumstances and structures design intrinsically takes part in.
The course is divided into two intensive weeks: the first in January, the second in April. The first intensive week consist of lectures, discussions, and visits from practitioners. In February-March you will do three meetings in independent reading groups and share the results through a joint blog. In the second intensive week, the groups will devise a ”Plan for Action”, a proposal for a critical design project or practice.
- There will be some lectures, but for the most part of the course you will be participating in discussions with fellow students, teachers and visiting practitioners. Intensive discussion will help you to reflect on the open-ended questions within the topic of critical design, negotiate with yourself and others about different views, and position yourself within the different modes of criticism that are introduced. There are no right or wrong answers on the course.
- You will also be reading and discussing chosen texts in a reading group with those fellow students who share an urgent topic interest with you. This gives you the opportunity to concentrate on different aspects of criticality in design, to place critical design in various theoretical frameworks, and to consider them in depth with your peers.
- Towards the end of the course, your group will design a plan for action for a future project/practice of critical design as well as a demo version of this action.
Forming your ideas into plans for concrete projects helps you understand the outline of joint and/or sustained projects, as well as to describe and explain your ideas in different contexts (for example in applying for funding).
- Respect other people by always being on time. The course is based on discussions that require your presence. Three late arrivals (more than 10 minutes) will be counted as one day's absence.
- Attendance is required on all classes. Notify the teacher of any absences as soon as possible. As on all courses, you are allowed maximum of 20% (here two days) absence: more will cause you to fail the course.
- There will be no work submitted late at any stage of the course. Failure to present your work as scheduled can cause you (and possibly your whole reading group) to fail the course.
- If you have any questions regarding these policies, please contact the teachers as soon as possible.
Activity in class discussions (40 %)
Responsibility in group work: Reading group reports and Plan for Action (60 %)