Understanding Design and Cognition (DECO1006)


This introductory unit of study aims to give the student an understanding of design as a general activity in its own right, comparative to other activities such as science and art. It aims to stress the importance of design (and its consequences) as an activity concerned with changing the state of the existing environment through a set of conscious and purposeful actions. The unit of study introduces the students to the major conceptual and methodological foundations of design, making the students aware of design knowledge representations, processes, and products, and their interrelationships. Students are introduced to formal computational frameworks and reasoning methods used in design, as well as subjective and creative representation and reasoning in design. They learn how formal reasoning and subjective creative aspects come together in formulation and development of design products. On the successful completion of this unit of study, students will have demonstrated: an understanding of the importance and generality of design as an activity by having them reflect on the nature of design across the various disciplines and its relation to other activities such as Science and Art; an awareness of the knowledge and processes involved in design and to apply such knowledge and processes in their approach to design, as for example in the Design Studio. This awareness is reinforced by the assignments that are intended to make students think about design objects in a more analytical fashion and about how designers think. Exploration of the social and cultural roots of the design product is encouraged, and the assignments require students to gain knowledge of design thinking and an understanding of the need for critical examination and both objective and subjective analysis and judgement of works of design. This unit is core in the Bachelor of Design Computing and can be taken as elective by students enrolled in other programs.

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Further unit of study information


Lecture 1 hr/wk, Workshop 2 hrs/wk


Two written assignments (50%); final exam (25%); regular workshop assessments (25%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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