Collaborative and Industrial Design

Design for Social Change - Participation

DSC-CD course provides students with basic understanding and competences to build design projects aimed towards social change through co-design arrangements. The course has two key themes:

1. Theories and key concepts of social change (Predominantly week one, but deepened across DSC-CD) provides a selective overview of most design relevant research on what it takes to achieve significant social change. DSC provides basics of core concepts, including sociotechnical systems, path dependence and path creation, sociotechnical couplings and interdependencies, practice change, activist and post-capitalist frameworks, policy issues and economic drivers. These resources are key to understanding what is involved in social change, particularly sociotechnical change which is typically the type of social change where design is involved.

2. Collaborative design for social change: collaborative design – extending design from professionals to impacted peoples and relevant stakeholders – is often a prerequisite for fostering social change. The interests, resources, legitimacy and enthusiasm of these peoples need to be met for a change initiative to have a chance to succeed. This is very difficult for designers to approximate these in their studio alone. DSC features a set of hands-on exercises and associated learning materials on key aspects of planning and running different types of collaborative design in different settings. Successful design collaboration requires analyzing the big picture contexts and working from there to the nitty gritty details of designing for collaboration (… and back again). The student groups use these learning to device a plan for use (or non use) of collaborative design as part of their extended project brief and, if practicable, also enact some of the planned actions.
Strategid Co-Design -kurssin opiskelijat tekivät ratkaisuehdotuksia Helsingin kaupungin muotoilutoiminnan vaikuttavuuden arvioimiseksi.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand how design can facilitate social change in different socio-techno-economic settings;
  • critically assess potentials and pitfalls of different strategies to social change in particular contexts;
  • plan projects so that the merits and downsides of different ways, combinations, intensities and resources for fostering change are adequately addressed;
  • assess potentials and pitfalls of different approaches to design for social change.

Responsible Teacher

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