HIST06018 2019 Visual and Material Culture 4 ( Design for Social Impact)

General Details

Full Title
Visual and Material Culture 4 ( Design for Social Impact)
Transcript Title
Visual and Material Culture 4
80 %
Subject Area
HIST - History / Theory of Art
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Angela Mehegan, Louis McManus
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 SG_DINAD_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINAD_H08 202400 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design

Design and the Contemporary World: Design for Social Impact

This programme of study explores conditions, themes and issues in Contemporary Visual/Material Culture with particular reference to Design for Social Impact. This will be done through an examination of a variety of  artefacts, systems and social activities. Understanding of  developments in economic, political, ideological and cultural forces in the creative industries and related disciplines underpin this examination. 

Learning Outcomes

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


Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between design practices to the production, consumption and reception of Visual and Material Culture.


Evaluate the link between theory and practice in the analysis of issues in contemporary art and design practices.


Research, organise and analyse material, texts and documents relating to Art, design and Material Culture.


Communicate a perspective on themes, issues and ideas relevant to contemporary design through written and oral presentations.


Demonstrate an awareness of the theories and issues that inform Design for Social Practice

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching strategy is lecture, seminar and workshop based, allowing the student to develop their sense of enquiry. Critical thinking and problem solving are enhanced through reading seminars and discussion. Critical writing and  research skills are developed through thematic based essays, team work and group presentations

Module Assessment Strategies

Assignments and coursework will be assessed using the following criteria:

The assessment strategy focuses on the student's evaluation of the subject of Design for Social Practice  through: 

  • Application of informed research and visual methodologies
  • Proficiency in information literacy skills
  • Written composition and design reports
  • Peer-led oral presentation
  • Discipline-based group discussions
  • Interaction with Design -led studio practice

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Assessments will be based on existing course material that allow the students to repeat failed elements in Autumn

Indicative Syllabus

Conditions, themes and issues in Contemporary Design. 

  • Design for Social Impact: Perspectives, Theories and Practices
  • Cross Cultural Practice and the Politics of Difference: Gender, Ethnicity & Class
  • Design and Activism: Cultural Resistance and Creative Practices
  • Sustainability and Environmental Issues
  • Design and Social Responsibility: Social and Community Sustainability
  • Universal Design Strategies
  • Designing for the Bottom of the Pyramid
  • Design and the Body
  • Rethinking Mobility: Energy and Transport

Seminars are discipline-based and address the critical nature of the content and context of the above lecture themes in greater depth. These are conducted through group discussion, peer-led presentations, text analysis and group projects. Research methodologies and evaluation also form part of this enquiry. 



Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Thematic Group Presentation Coursework Assessment Group Project 40 % Week 6 1,2,3,5
2 Research Essay Paper Coursework Assessment Essay 60 % Week 12 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Core Themes 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop / Seminar Flat Classroom Contextual Studies 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2009-09-29 Change by Design HarperBusiness
ISBN 0061766089 ISBN-13 9780061766084

The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities. This book introduces the idea of design thinking the collaborative process by which the designers sensibilities and methods are employed to match peoples needs not only with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short design thinking converts need into demand. Its a humancentered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and more creative. Design thinking is not just applicable to socalled creative industries or people who work in the design field. Its a methodology that has been used by organizations such as Kaiser Permanente to icnrease the quality of patient care by reexamining the ways that their nurses manage shift change or Kraft to rethink supply chain management. This is not a book by designers for designers; this is a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization product or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.

Required Reading
2012-03-07 Designing For Social Change Princeton Architectural Press
ISBN 1616890479 ISBN-13 9781616890476

This newest title in the design briefs series is a compact, hands-on guide for graphic design professionals who want to start helping communities and effectuating social change in the world. Author Andrew Shea presents ten strategies for successful community engagement, grounding each one in two real world case studies. The twenty projects featured in the book are by both design professionals and students and range from creating a map of services for the homeless community in Santa Monica, helping Chicago's Humboldt Park community by designing a website where donors can buy essential items for community members, to encouraging LA's Latina community to go for an annual PAP exam in an attempt to prevent cervical cancer through carefully designed posters, murals, and other material. Designing for Social Change is both an inspiration and a how-to book that encourages graphic designers everywhere to go out and do good with their work, providing them with the tools to complete successful projects in their communities.

Required Reading
2011 Human Centered Design Toolkit AuthorHouse
ISBN 0984645705 ISBN-13 9780984645701

The HCD Toolkit was designed specifically for NGOs and social enterprises that work with impoverished communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Required Reading
2009 The Eco-design Handbook
ISBN 0500288399 ISBN-13 9780500288399

This fully updated and revised book remains the most comprehensive publication on the market today to catalogue and represent the vast array of ingenious green products available to the everyday consumer. Scrutinizing every aspect of our designed world, The Eco-Design Handbook offers the most innnovative, ecologically sensitive and consumer friendly products for all areas of the home and office, including environmentally sound materials and building products.Whether you are interested in design or the sustainability of our planet, whether you are building a house or looking for new furniture, whether your office is buying stationery supplies or looking for ergonomic chairs, The Eco-Design Handbook is the definitive resource, invaluable for both the lay consumer and the design professional.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources


Berners-Lee, M., (2010) How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything, Green Profile

Burns, C., Cottam, H., Vanstone, C., Winhall, J., (2006)  Red Paper 2, Transformation Design, Design Council

Cooper, D., ed.(1992) A Companion to Aesthetics,  Blackwell.

Costello, D & Vickery J., eds. (2007) Art: Key Contemporary Thinkers, Berg.

During, S., ed. (1993) The Cultural Studies Reader,  Routledge.

Gray, C. and Malins, J. (2004) Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington VT: Ashgate..

McDonough, W & Braungart, M (2009) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, Vintage

Papanak, Victor, (1985) The Green Imperative: Ecology and Ethics in Design and Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London

Papanak, Victor, (1986) Design for the Real World, Academy Chicago Publishers

Smith, Cynthia, E. (1997) Design For The Other 90%, Editions Assouline

Vechakul, Jessica, (2016) Human-Centered Design for Social Impact: Case Studies of IDEO.org and the International Development Design Summit, University of California, berkeley

Weedon, C. (1999) Feminism, Theory and The Politics of Difference,  Blackwell.

Journal Resources

Blueprint Magazine


URL Resources

Bruce Mau: Massive Change Network http://www.massivechangenetwork.com/

Smithsonian Museum: Design Other 90% https://www.designother90.org/

Social Light Movement: https://sociallightmovement.com/

Other Resources


Additional Information