Master of Design (Strategic Design)

The Strategic Design specialisation will introduce you to the role of design for achieving a strategic advantage in the marketplace. In this degree, you will learn how to use design as a method for developing products, services and systems that meet social, environmental or commercial goals within business, organisations and technology contexts.

You will explore design principles, tools and methods that can be implemented to influence strategic decision and direction, as well as what it means to be a design leader and the impact that design leadership can have within organisations. You'll be engaged in both analytical and creative thinking, and acquire broad skills in communication, information literacy, inventiveness and critical thinking.

This program includes foundational core units, advanced core units, capstone units and electives you can take with different faculties. The Strategic Design specialisation enables you to learn how to identify existing problems, challenges, customer needs, behaviours and attitudes within an organisation and turn those into design-led opportunities for positive strategic change. You will focus on developing a deeper understanding of strategic design and leadership by designing products, services and systems that can be initiated within a practical organisational setting.

The following is an indicative progression for the Master of Design (Strategic Design):

Year 1

Unit of study

Credit points

Semester 1

 

 

IDEA9106

Design Thinking

6

DESN9001

Design Practice and Management

6

DESN9002

Designing for the Digital Revolution

6

 

Elective

6

Semester 2

 

 

DESN9003

Strategic Design and Leadership

6

DESN9100

Major Project Strategic Design

12

 

Elective

6

 

Total for Year

48

 

Year 2

Unit of study

Credit points

Semester 1

 

 

DESNXXXX

Strategic Design Research Project

12

DESNXXXX

Design Research Internship

12
 

Total for Year

24

 

Unit of study table

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Strategic Design

Core Foundational units

IDEA9106
Design Thinking
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
DESN9001
Design Practice and Management
6      Semester 1
DESN9002
Designing for the Digital Revolution
6      Semester 1

Core Advanced units

DESN9003
Strategic Design and Leadership
6    A IDEA9106
Semester 2
DESN9100
Major Project Strategic Design
12    C DESN9003
Semester 2

Capstone

IDEA9301
Graduation Studio
12    P 48 credit points including (18 credit points from IDEA9103 and IDEA9105 and IDEA9106) and [18 credit points from (IDEA9101 and IDEA9102) or (IDEA9201 and IDEA9202)]
Semester 1
Semester 2

Electives

DESC9153
Graduate Internship
6   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
Intensive December
Intensive February
Intensive January
Intensive July
Intensive November
Semester 1
Semester 2
MARC6102
3D Computer Design Modelling
6   

Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission via Sydney Student.
Semester 1
Semester 2
DESA9008
Object Design (Material and Light)
6    A DESA1555
N AWSS2020

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
DESA9012
2D Print Processes in Design
6    N AWSS2026

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
MFDI9313
Digital Editing for Film and Video
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
MFDI9303
Digital Effects for Film and Video
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
INFO5992
Understanding IT Innovations
6    A INFO5990
N PMGT5875
Semester 1
Semester 2

Unit of study descriptions

Strategic Design

Core Foundational units

IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Naseem Ahmadpour Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Lecture 1 hr/wk, tutorial 2 hrs/wk Assessment: Design assignments (90%), Quizzes (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study provides an overview of a human-centred approach to the design of products and systems. It introduces students to design thinking and how it can be productively applied to different design situations. The theoretical concepts, methods and tools for the key stages of interaction design are covered including user research, ideation, prototyping and user evaluation. It provides students with the principles, processes and tools for working collaboratively on design projects in studio. Students learn to build empathy with users, identify and reframe the problem space, develop value-driven design concepts and persuasively communicate design proposals with an emphasis on the user experience through visual storytelling. This unit is a foundational core unit in the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts program.
DESN9001 Design Practice and Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Cara Wrigley Session: Semester 1 Classes: lecture 1 hr/week, tutorial 2 hrs/week Assessment: research report (15%), quiz (35%), design project (25%) and design project presentation (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit introduces students to the context, complexities and methods of utilising design within a business context. Students will learn how to use design to link business, technology and people as a way to develop competitive economic, socio-cultural and environmental advantage in an increasingly complex world. The unit will cover design thinking, design innovation and design integration methods for driving this process and creating effectively-designed products, services and environments. In this unit, the aims and objectives of design management will be explored and students will learn to identify its relationship to the leadership and strategic aspects of organisations. This unit will cover approaches for conducting design-based research and contrast them to other methodologies within the design and business landscape.
DESN9002 Designing for the Digital Revolution

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Cara Wrigley Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5-day intensive Assessment: design project (40%), quiz (10%), essay (30%), research journal/report (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit focuses on how the emergence of new technologies has revolutionised the way companies interact and build relationships with customers. In this unit, students explore the concept of 'the channel'. Traditionally, customer relationships have been managed via a push approach in communication, mainly 'what can we sell customers?', with the hope of cultivating customer loyalty. The unit explores the emotional understanding of customers and the impact this has on how they feel about a product, service or business. Students learn how exploring and analysing customers' emotional understanding can drastically alter their engagement, behaviour and purchasing preferences. The unit therefore aims to extend students' understanding of how this rapidly-evolving landscape has changed the way digital channels are designed, monitored and managed. In this unit, digital channel strategies and relationships are examined, and useful concepts for designing digital engagements are detailed. The unit encompasses customer-centric design approaches as well as techniques such as scenario building, forecasting and backcasting to explore possible futures.

Core Advanced units

DESN9003 Strategic Design and Leadership

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Cara Wrigley Session: Semester 2 Classes: lecture 1 hr/week, seminar 2 hrs/week Assumed knowledge: IDEA9106 Assessment: design proposal (10%), quiz (35%), presentation (10%), design research report (30%) and reflective process report (15%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In this unit, students examine design leadership and learn the various design strategies and processes that can be applied to enable it to generate innovative solutions. Students learn about what it means to be a design leader and how to learn through design. The unit demonstrates how to use design as a method for developing people-centred strategies within businesses, organisations or technology contexts that integrate internal and external factors with stakeholders and touchpoints. Students will learn how to identify existing problems, challenges, customer needs, behaviours and attitudes within an organisation and turn those into design-led opportunities for positive strategic change. In this unit, students will learn about the transformation and transactional potential of design leadership within organisations and how it is aligned to strategic management. The aim of this unit is to provide students with tools, methods and processes that can be applied within organisations to enable innovative solutions and leadership.
DESN9100 Major Project Strategic Design

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Cara Wrigley Session: Semester 2 Classes: lecture 2 hrs/week, studio 4 hrs/week Corequisites: DESN9003 Assessment: reflective journal/concept book (20%), design innovation project report (50%), final presentation (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit requires the application of design strategy methods and theory to address a real-world problem. Students will have the opportunity to advance their design strategy skills by exploring a self-selected, complex problem from their own professional practice and designing and implementing a design-led strategy in response. The unit will explore design principles, tools and methods that can be implemented to influence strategic decision and direction. Students will learn how to initiate, lead and manage design strategies in their own organisations and gain a deeper understanding of design strategy and leadership in a practical organisational setting. Each week, students will be challenged through evaluation and critique by the teaching staff and student cohort to help progress the innovation project. The unit will culminate in a final presentation where students will present their final design.

Capstone

IDEA9301 Graduation Studio

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Caitilin de Berigny Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 3 hrs/week Prerequisites: 48 credit points including (18 credit points from IDEA9103 and IDEA9105 and IDEA9106) and [18 credit points from (IDEA9101 and IDEA9102) or (IDEA9201 and IDEA9202)] Assessment: Project (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is the culminating studio of the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts that provides students with a capstone experience. The aim of this studio is to draw together and synthesise the learning that has taken place during the whole degree. Students develop a design project based on an industry or community-focused brief. Students will work in small teams or individually to produce a design proposal that addresses contemporary issues, and incorporates innovative applications of emergent technologies. The submitted design work will be high quality, suitable for professional presentation and portfolio.

Electives

DESC9153 Graduate Internship

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Dean (Education) Session: Intensive December,Intensive February,Intensive January,Intensive July,Intensive November,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Fieldwork Assessment: Log book signed by practice supervisor and report on the benefits of the internship (100); pass/fail only Mode of delivery: Professional practice
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
The aims of the internship are to provide a direct link between the academic core of the course and the disciplines and methods of practice; to enable candidates to experience aspects of practice and provide the opportunity for them to work in areas of the field outside their specific expertise; to enable candidates to observe, analyse and comment on the interaction between theoretical and practical issues of their Program as it is practiced, and to establish connections between practice and the development of relevant research programs. The internship is intended to provide the opportunity for students to work in various situations in their Program's area. A secondary intention is that students use the opportunities of placement to broaden their own experience beyond the limitations of their chosen discipline. Candidates must find a suitable professional placement. Permission to enrol is given after the proposed placement has been approved by the Program Director. The host organisation will nominate a supervisor for the student for the internship. The student must complete at least 120 hours of full or part-time experience, supervised by a practicing designer (or other professional depending upon the field). A log-book of each day's work, signed by the supervisor must be submitted on completion. A 2000-word report on the benefits of the internship must also be produced. At the end of the internship the student will: demonstrate that they have completed a program of work (through a log-book); present a report; analyse their experiences and compare these to the theoretical content of the units they have completed, and suggest appropriate research directions so as to improve the complementarity of theory to practice.
MARC6102 3D Computer Design Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Simon Weir Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Computer laboratory contact, plus self-directed preparation and assignments, for a minimum total student commitment averaging 9 hours per week. Assessment: Assignments Weeks 1-13 (80%); Final Portfolio Week 15 (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission via Sydney Student.
This unit of study consolidates students' knowledge of advanced concepts in digital modelling, visualisation media and digital fabrication techniques available for architectural design. The unit develops conceptual understanding of generative geometric logic through a case study analysis followed by a small design project. Students will explore the practical applications of the digital geometry they create using commercial modelling and rendering packages in conjunction with the digital fabrication equipment available in DMaF. It will help students: generate sophisticated digital geometry through pre-packaged techniques and scripting processes, assign colour and texture information, generate sophisticated images for visualization purposes and fabricate prototypes. At the conclusion of this unit students should be conversant with 3D modelling, photo-rendering and digital fabrication terminology and be able to generate complex 3D models. Class preparation: 3 hours/week, assessment preparation 8 hours/semester.
DESA9008 Object Design (Material and Light)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Mr Koji Ryui Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: workshop 3 hrs/week Prohibitions: AWSS2020 Assumed knowledge: DESA1555 Assessment: studio projects and associated tasks (70%); research process journal (30%) Practical field work: Studio practice. NB: Students may incur costs for materials in some units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
In this unit students produce light objects exploring diverse materials and fabrication techniques in the DMaF workshops. Emphasis is placed on developing and inter-relating manufacturing and artisan skills with research, analysis and design development. The course aims to develop a critical awareness of the nature of objects that surround us, exploring cultural, contextual and symbolic aspects of object design as well as functional and aesthetic qualities working with light. Sustainability and social issues relating to their manufacture, use and disposal are also discussed; the unit aims to increase appreciation of the materiality of objects focusing on timber as an example paying attention to associated environmental and ethical issues, and emerging alternative materials. Through a series of exercises, experiments and production of their major project, students develop knowledge of construction techniques and skills in using wood/plastics tools and machinery and in so doing, build an awareness of industrial and craft practices and how they impact on the design process and outcome. Students will be expected to produce a research process journal and report on how a particular designer/s or movement has informed or influenced their final project/s
DESA9012 2D Print Processes in Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Mr Koji Ryui Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: workshop 3 hrs/week Prohibitions: AWSS2026 Assessment: studio projects and associated tasks (70%); research process journal (30%) Practical field work: Studio practice. NB: Students may incur costs for materials in some units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This studio-based unit introduces a variety of traditional and experimental techniques that will enable students to design and print a series of 2D works both within and around the context of design and Architecture. It will provide students with the knowledge and skills to design and print on a variety of substrates including paper, wood, and perspex through a range of techniques and creative exercises that can be developed into an edition or a series of experimental printed works. Students will also explore the historical roots of print and print as an element in design and architecture. Techniques covered include: digital photography and vector illustration, typography, hand and laser-cut paper stencils, ink mixing, registration and print set-up for multi-coloured prints. Through studio practice, set exercises, illustrated talks, gallery visits and library research, students will develop an understanding of their creative process and ability to interpret ideas through the medium of printing and with particular focus on design and architecture applications.
MFDI9313 Digital Editing for Film and Video

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hour studio class/week Assessment: project proposal (25%) and class presentation (15%) and project (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The aim of this unit of study is to equip you with a conceptual understanding and technical expertise in the use of digital editing for film and video projects. You will be introduced to the use of software programs such as Final Cut Pro HD to explain how edit moving images in to a project and how moving images can be transformed over time in combination with text, masks, filters, effects and sound. You will learn how to edit and master in Final Cut Pro HD through an intensive series of tutorials film/video screenings and practical studio workshops. This will culminate in the production of a studio project. The project is to be developed in consultation with an academic adviser.
MFDI9303 Digital Effects for Film and Video

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hour studio class/week Assessment: project proposal (25%) and class presentation (15%) and project (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The aim of this unit of study is to equip you with a conceptual understanding and technical expertise in the use of digital effects for film and video projects. You will be introduced to the use of software programs such as Adobe After Effects to explain how moving images can be transformed over time in combination with text, masks, animation, filters, effects and sound. You will learn how to author in After Effects through an intensive series of tutorials film/video screenings and practical studio workshops. This will culminate in the production of a studio project. The project is to be developed in consultation with an academic adviser.
INFO5992 Understanding IT Innovations

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Lectures, Tutorials Prohibitions: PMGT5875 Assumed knowledge: INFO5990 Assessment: Through semester assessment (40%) and Final Exam (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
An essential skill for an IT manager is the ability to keep up-to-date with emerging technologies, and be able to evaluate the significance of these technologies to their organisation's business activities. This unit of study is based around a study of current technologies and the influence of these technologies on business strategies.
Important trends in innovation in IT are identified and their implications for innovation management explored. Major topics include: drivers of innovation; the trend to open information ("open source") rather than protected intellectual property; and distribution of innovation over many independent but collaborating actors.
On completion of this unit, students will be able to identify and analyse an emerging technology and write a detailed evaluation of the impact of this technology on existing business practices.