This module builds on your existing critical thinking and technical skills to consider design as a critical, provocative medium that can challenge societal values and norms through horror, humour and delight. You will learn how to respond to complex situations and global societal challenges through the lens of interactive media by employing critical design theories and methodologies. We will explore current and emerging theories and methodologies in the field and meet practitioners working on the cutting edge of speculative and critical design. We will examine diverse examples of design fiction and speculative design before developing your own prototypes individually and in groups during workshop sessions, adopting a visual and material approach to design.
Module will run
Semester 2 2024-25
To develop the ability to understand and respond to complex situations and global societal challenges through the lens of interactive media.
To provide an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual positioning of Speculative Design as it relates to technological, political, economic and social contexts.
To develop an awareness of the potential and roles for interactive media in critical and speculative design contexts.
To provide a creative forum for students to develop reflective, critical, digitally mediated artefacts that challenge assumptions, preconceptions and givens about contemporary life.
Module learning outcomes
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
Critique contemporary speculative and critical design artefacts
Design a speculative, critical design or design fiction concept
Develop and utilise technical skills to realise concept to working prototype stage
Design an appropriate format for exhibiting critical design prototypes
Demonstrate ability to navigate complex, uncertain problem spaces grounded in social, cultural and global awareness
Demonstrate ability to apply creative skills in designing and implementing speculative and critical design concepts
Demonstrate ability to consider wider audiences and select appropriate media to realise and showcase speculative design prototypes
Presentation in class in week 11.
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Essay/coursework : Speculative design prototype, presentation and 2500 word report
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Essay/coursework : Speculative design prototype, video presentation and 2500 word report
You will receive individual oral feedback for the weekly design lab sessions, during the class.
You will receive written feedback on coursework assignments using a proforma identifying key requirements and marks awarded for sections of the assignment. This will be in line with standard University turnaround times.
Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2014). Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. MIT Press.
Koskinen, I., and Zimmerman, J. (2011). Design Research Through Practice: From the Lab, Field, and Showroom. Morgan Kaufmann.
Tharp, B.M., and Tharp, S. M. (2018). Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things. MIT Press.
Yelavich, S. and Adams, B. eds., (2014). Design as Future-making. Bloomsbury Publishing.