Understanding Humans

Design for humans, with humans, and from a human perspective. In order to design well for people, it is essential to understand them. This course is an exploration through personal experience of building an understanding of human theory. By getting to know yourself you can better understand others and apply this in design practice.

Working with and for people is an important part of design. This course lays a foundation for understanding humans by providing a toolbox of theoretical concepts and looking at how they can be linked to humans.

Explore three different perspectives on how to approach humans as a designer. First, consider Human Factors including physical, perceptual and cognitive ergonomics. Then dive into the Human Experience with topics including emotions, aesthetics & meaning, and motivation & behaviour. Finally, look at the Human Context through cultural & social, political & economic contexts as well as the context of daily life.

Discover the importance of design research. Participate in discussions that build understanding of the concepts and develop critical thinking skills. Learn to ask the right questions, how to build an argument and defend your position. Reflect on your own human experiences to explore the personal relevance of the theoretical concepts.

This course is directly linked with Design Project 1 and is also relevant to further design studies.

Course Coordinator's perspective

“I really want students to understand the relevance of theory for a designer. We are academic designers and design researchers and I think the motivation and the inspiration that you can gain from theory is important to learn. In our course we will try to make this explicit, how theory can be inspirational for designers.”

Valentijn Visch

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