2021_1 | Futures Studios

F4. critical design: thinking through making

Jane Button & Ed Hubber


Studio Inquiry

Designers are designing in an ever complex world which has implications at both a personal and collective level. There are implications and assumptions inherent within design's shift towards ever more complex world-building practices. This has far reaching implications for human centred design, co design and the capitalist logics of design to name a few effects. We'll specifically explore these realities through engaging with critical and speculative design and the contestations that they offer to 'offical realities'(Dunne and Raby).
This studio explicitly engages with theoretical and practice led design research through engaging with critical and speculative design. By adopting a critical design lens the studio seeks to explore and open up assumptions that are centred around a designer's role and forms of practice eg. designer as 'hero', co-design as 'neutral'. You will engage critically with design as a discipline whilst also developing your professional capability to give and receive criticism. In this studio you will create artefacts that express this thinking in an experimental and exciting way.
Communication of knowledge
In this Studio we encourage working with your own areas of interest (eg. object design, fashion, Human Centred Design etc.) and then applying these to your design based practice through a critical lens. These forms of knowledge will be communicated via in group discussions and break out groups, through studio making sessions and through the articulation of your ideas in both written and artefact form. We will centre and explore critical and reflective practice as a means to 'think through making.'
Your design based activities will be informed by critique as much as by the research that you are encountering. By the end of the semester you will have thought through a number of critical lenses related to contemporary design practice and be able to give critique confidently and reflect upon your own practice in a newly informed way. Week to week we will explore different design theory as a method to grow and expand your practice. This is an exploratory based studio where risk taking and vulnerability is welcomed.
Brief One: Group work: Giving a presentation alongside a pdf submission of a topic/ contemporary issue covered during the first module of semester
Brief Two: Finding a core area in design that you are motivated to work with and critique in relation to your own practice
Brief Three: Studio Knowledge Object that is informed by your reflections and experiences throughout the semester of the different models of reflective practice
Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes.
Speculative Everything by Dunne and Raby.
Strange Design by Jehanne Dautrey.
Communities of Practice
Designing for Social Change, Designing Disobedience

About Jane Button | About Ed Hubber

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