Humanitarian and Environmental Experience, required MA/MFA colloquium in Experience Design, Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, ISMA 2009-2010, 9 credits



In this module within the MA/MFA colloquium, students were introduced to and were expected to apply a set of core concepts within experience design. The theme '[Un]Real Estate' explores the value of things and place. As exposed in the contemporaneous economic crises, value, and the way that it is assigned, is not stable and can be questioned. Beyond what might be recognized by those authorities assigning property value, carbon footprint or historical preservation, for example, public spaces have unofficial values, unwritten norms and unknown potentials. In intervening the new, design engages with the complexity of existing values. Experience design might also be employed to change or re(e)valuate the status and stakeholders of a given site or situation. This raises a range of questions how are values created and altered? How are values experienced in relation to a particular site, situation or geography? This colloquium explored how values are set and communicated officially, and unofficially, and (re)designs systems for expressing, altering, or introducing new values.

[Un]Real Estate was structured as a series of project-based explorations, within which theories and skills were introduced and applied in relation to a theme and a series of project assignments. Setting the frame for two short projects, guest experts were invited to give a lecture, assign readings and lead field trips to specific sites and organizations. Guests included Henrik Ernstson (Stockholm Resilience Center) and Annika Enqvist and Thérèse Kristiansson (New Beauty Council). Subsequently, each student (or pairs of students) continued or developed a new project, as a more elaborate response to the course theme. Classes were structured as lectures, seminars or critiques, with studio work, field trips and tutorials in parallel. In addition to thematic lectures, there were lectures focused on core concepts and skills in experience design. The course concluded with presentations and a final critique, a web-based portfolio piece on each project, and a 'stand-alone' installation for public exhibition in the school gallery. Students were evaluated on their ability to independently and critically give an account of their creative process and final proposal, in terms of the course theme, experience design and respective theories and skills.

Image (above)
Photo from a class field-trip to Nätverket Årstafältet

My role
This course in 2009-2010 covered the Humanitarian and Environmental modules within the required MA/MFA colloquium in Humanitarian, Persuasive and Environmental Experience, see link below for further details. It was co-taught by Martin Avila and myself – we took joint responsibility for the theme, structure, guests, lectures, readings, tutorials, assessment and written feedback. I initiated and maintained the course website and gave the core lectures on 'experience prototyping' and 'representing time'. It was a 7-week full-time course attended by all 11 first year students in the program.

More about the course
Website with student projects, schedule, readings and syllabus


See also

/ Teaching / MFA Experience Design program

/ Teaching / 2007-2009 Humanitarian, Persuasive and Environmental Experience

/ Teaching / Graduate supervision