Understanding Design

Design is all around us, not just in objects, but in everything that we see or do. It’s ambitious to try and understand what it really is. This course offers an introductory encounter with the field of design. It’s a sense-making exploration to provide a framework and a toolkit, preparing students for their studies and beyond. Welcome to Design 101.

As one of the first encounters with the field of industrial design engineering, this course introduces the conventions, language and constructs that are the basis for the for the academic journey that lies ahead.
Through immersive experiences, learn about key concepts in the field of design. Explore the history and evolution of design, how production and consumption have shifted over the years. Consider how that influences the way we design, who we design for and also prepares us for an unknown future.

Develop critical thinking skills and a contextualising mindset to understand and deal with challenges. Build a design vocabulary and learn to be mindful of the perspectives of others. Participate in debates on topics like gender, race, capitalism and politics and the role they play in design. Discover how design, society and culture influence each other.

With a lens of curiosity, learn how to feel and sense the expanse of the designed world around. And maybe even become slightly obsessed with the field of design.

This course is useful in Design Project 1 – Diving into Design.

Course Coordinators' perspectives

“We want our students to be curious and to become even more curious. We want them to have a questioning mindset. We are not telling them this is how it is, but we want to equip them with the tools to encounter design methods and problems, to be able to unpack a toolkit and get to work.”

Bregje van Eekelen & Ianus Keller

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