Collaborative and Industrial Design

Design for Social Change - Strategy

Designing for Social Change (DSC) courses provide students basic understanding and competences to build design projects aimed towards social change.
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Learning outcomes

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

  • understand how design can facilitate social change in different socio-economic settings (e.g. institutional, communitarian, work-based, place-based;
  • critically assess potentials and pitfalls of different design  strategies for 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;
  • develop and assess a strategy for social change and gain experience in doing so.


What possibilities exist for designers to create social change? What kinds of politics might their interventions engage? How does design activism differ from social design? How might a design for social change be configured, rationalised and its impacts be anticipated? And how is a designerly approach to social change different from other approaches?

Through this 6-week course we will explore these and other questions. The course will also provide an opportunity for you to develop your own creative approaches to design for social change and expand your knowledge of design practices through consideration and analsysi of existing examples. There is particular emphasis on how to implement a project in this course. This means focusing on the possibilities, challenges and potentials of different contexts and how to build a strategy that works effectively with these.

You will participate in lectures, assignments, readings and discussions. These will prepare you to define and develop a project proposal that cultivates ways of intervening for social change.

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