This module aims to familiarize students with the range of historical and recent contexts which have shaped design for craft and industrial production in the Eastern and Western locations. Traditional and dominant modes of design history favour the discussion of heroic design, design movements and stylistic analysis. These approaches can be beneficial but can also limit students’ abilities to localize and apply the lessons of design history more realistically. This module serves to extend the discussion of design history to include more recent developments in China and internationally, and to help students relate their work to these to broader contexts. A more inclusive design history recognizes the historical differences between East and West, and the specific cultural, economic and political factors which shape design for production and the professionalization of design activity. Students will learn valuable vocabulary, skills in research, the analysis of visual and empirical data and how to present information to a range of stakeholders. It also prepares students for the studio based modules in developing their understanding of the nature of the discipline as a whole.
A. Identify, analyse and explain important recent economic, cultural and political factors in the historical development of design for craft and industrial production in China and internationally.
B. Identify and describe significant Chinese and international figures, movements, styles and artefacts as exemplars of design historical and social change, and analyse their cultural meaning.
C. Demonstrate skills in understanding sources and apply these in critical reading and writing.
D. Compile and present design historical information using a range of verbal and text-based, academic and journalistic formats for a range of audiences and stakeholders.
Students will study different contexts of design history through a combination of tutor-directed lectures and student-directed seminars and exercises. In addition to indicative historical content some class sessions will cover skills-acquisition such as writing for different audiences; primary and secondary research, visual and object analysis and presentation skills. All of these sessions are directed at deep learning and at students being able to complete specified summative assessments and formative exercises. Students acquire transferable skills which can be used in additional academic contexts and lifelong professional settings.