Design Processes, required MFA Industrial Design course, Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, IDM108 2013-2014, 12 credits

In this course, students explored ways to conduct design processes. The design field is always expanding – in addition to established settings in industry, industrial designers today work in a wide range of contexts, with many experts, stakeholders and users. Such complex settings of design work require additional perspectives and methods. In this course, we explore different ways of thinking about and working in the expanded field of design. From a basis in material and ‘designerly’ processes, the aim is to develop students’ experience with and knowledge of different perspectives and methods. Through trying out different perspectives and methods, the goal is that students will be better able to articulate their design processes, method(s) and role(s) as designers. After the course, students should have a wider and deeper repertoire, or toolkit, of approaches to choose from when creating a relevant design process.

The course unfolds as a sequence of perspectives that build on one another: Material, Commercial, Service, Critical. From a starting point in a material (assignment 1), the students will gradually develop one or more design proposal(s), in which they consider commercial applications and values (assignment 2), explore complex user settings and service systems (assignment 3), and speculate critically on the darker sides of its (mis)uses and ethical dimensions (assignment 4).

Course work is informed through collaborations with the projects: ‘From Materiality to Policymaking’, funded by Mistra, led by Mikael Lindström (Innventia), Bo Westerlund and Jenny Althoff (Konstfack); 'Language as Participation' at the Interactive Institute, led by Brendon Clark with Kajsa Davidsson. The 'Service' perspective in the course is developed in conjunction with the school-wide Research Inquiries course.

Image (above)
Photo from final review

My role
I am lead teacher of the course, in which different parts are taught with guest teachers and guest lecturers. In the course, we apply pedagogical formats such as 'reading circles', regular 'show-&-tells', and journals. It is a full-time course between October 14, 2013 and January 25, 2013, attended by all 9 first year students in the MA Industrial Design program.

More about the course
In-progress course blog with student projects, schedule and syllabus