DSGN07090 2019 Design in Context 1 (Research Methodologies)

General Details

Full Title
Design in Context 1 (Research Methodologies)
Transcript Title
Design in Context 1 (Research
80 %
Subject Area
DSGN - Design
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Louis McManus, Angela Mehegan
Programme Membership
SG_DCRDS_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_DCRDS_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design SG_DCREA_B07 202300 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_DCRDS_B07 202400 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_DCRDS_H08 202400 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design SG_DCREA_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design

In Design in Context 1 students undertake independent academic research which will identify research strategies that support their studio projects. This allows the projects to be positioned  within broad social, cultural and design contexts.  The main emphasis is on recognising the importance of thorough  and informed research in justifying and supporting design rationale with particular emphasis on user input. The submission of a Research Log will form part of the assessment. Final submissions may be written text or a combination of visual and written material 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate critical ability through analysis of a broad range of written and visual material, relating to issues within contemporary design practice.


Interpret material from a range of resources, using research methodologies appropriate to specific design problems or themes.


Articulate solutions to design and research  problems, organising and collating material though a coherent argument.


Produce written documents that are informed by the research path generated by studio projects  


Identify relevant themes and issues in contemporary design that justify and support design rationale

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching and Learning Strategies are Lecture, Seminar, Tutorial  and Workshop based. Lectures supported by images and texts, provide the context and background to area under discussion. Seminars offer opportunities for more detailed  thematic textual analysis and  group discussion. Workshops allow for focused interaction, research methodologies, oral communication and structured debate. Tutorials provide for one-to one feedback

Module Assessment Strategies

Assessment is based on submission of a Reflective Research Log, ongoing oral presentation updates and Final Presentation of research path with rationale for  design proposal clearly indicated

Repeat Assessments

Students may repeat failed elements for Autumn Exam Board

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to research methodologies central to contemporary design practice

Introduction to broad -based research resources and techniques

Reflective writing techniques

User research and persona modelling

Observational Research Strategies

Interview and oral history techniques

Evaluating findings and key insights

Design Theory: Design for Social Impact

Application of Design Thinking to research

Introduction to Design Semantics and artefact analysis


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Research Updates Coursework Assessment Oral Exam/Presentation 20 % OnGoing 1,2,5
2 Reflective Research Log Coursework Assessment Written Report/Essay 50 % Week 12 1,2,3,4,5
3 Final Research Presentation Coursework Assessment Oral Exam/Presentation 30 % End of Semester 2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Research Methodologies and Strategies 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop / Seminar Flat Classroom Individual and group workshops/tutorials 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Blaxter, E. (2006) How to Research, OUP.

Blomberg, J. (2003) An Ethnographic \Approach to Design, Lawrence Erlbaum. 

Brown, T. (2009) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, Harper.

Clark, H. & Brody, D. (2009) Design Studies: A Reader , Oxford, Berg.

Clarkson, J.  (2003) Inclusive Design: Design for the Whole Population, New York, Springer

Coles, A.  (2007) Design and Art, MIT.

Gladwell, M. (2000) The Tipping Point, London, Abacus.

Highmore, B.  (2009) The Design Culture Reader , London, Routledge.

Laurel, B., ed.(2003) Design Research, MIT.

Laurel, B. (2001) Utopian Entrepreneur, MIT.

Margolin, V. (2002) The Politics of the Artificial, Chicago.

McDonough, W. & Braungart, M.  (2009) Cradle to Cradle, London, Vintage.

Pawley, M.  (1999) The Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design ,Blackwell, Oxford.

Rose, Gillian (2001). Visual Methodologies. An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Meterials. London: SAGE Publications. 

Thackera, J. (2006) In the Bubble:Designing in a Complex World, The MIT Press.

Journal Resources

Architecture and Design; Domus;  Blueprint; ID Magazine;  Design Addict

URL Resources

Dezeen :https://www.dezeen.com/

Designboom: https://www.designboom.com/